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A massive online open course (MOOC) is a free online course that supports learning in a variety of different subjects. British Council has developed Massive Open Online Courses that are available for free on FutureLearn, which is the UK’s social learning platform, wholly owned by the Open University, UK with the benefit of over 40 years of their experience in distance learning and online education. These courses draw on the British Council’s expertise in online learning.

You can buy a Statement of Participation (optional) for these online courses — a personalised, printed certificate to show that you’ve taken part. You must mark more than 50% of all course steps as complete and attempt all test questions to be eligible to buy a statement of participation.

Our next online MOOC is the 'Understanding IELTS: techniques for English language tests' started on 21 September 2015. You can still join the course by visiting this page.

Our current online MOOC is the 'Professional Practices for English Language Teaching' which started on 31 August 2015. You can still join the course by visiting this page.

You can find out more details on our courses by clicking on the titles below.

Understanding IELTS: techniques for English language tests

Anyone thinking about taking an English language test will find this course particularly useful, but all English language learners will benefit from the tips and advice given in the course.

Understanding IELTS: techniques for English language tests is a six week long online course started on 21 September 2015. You can still join the course.

The course focuses on the IELTS test (International English Language Testing System). IELTS is the world’s most popular English language test for higher education and global migration. IELTS is accepted by over 9,000 organisations worldwide including universities, employers, immigration authorities and professional bodies. Over 2.2 million IELTS tests were taken globally last year.

This course will take you through each stage of the IELTS test — reading, writing, speaking and listening. At each stage there will be advice from our video tutor and a team of experienced IELTS educators. You will also be asked to share your experiences, tips and opinions with other learners.

COURSE OVERVIEW

By the end of the course, you will:

  • be familiar with all parts of the IELTS test
  • have some useful tips to help you achieve your IELTS goals
  • understand how the IELTS test is assessed 
  • have an opportunity to have your written and spoken English assessed by other learners.

The British Council has over 80 years’ experience in English language teaching and assessment and delivers IELTS tests in more than 100 countries. The course draws on the British Council’s expertise in online learning and will give you the opportunity to purchase a Statement of Participation.

Use the hashtag #FLEnglishIELTS to join and contribute to social media conversations about this course.

Professional Practices for English Language Teaching

The Professional Practices for English Language Teaching free online course starting on 31 August 2015 is for English language teachers around the world. It will help you develop the skills and practices you need for your continuing professional development (CPD).

The course will be useful for teachers of English at primary, secondary or higher levels.

Each week, we will look at a different professional practice that helps make a successful teacher. Weekly topics will include lesson planning, classroom management, classroom resources and continuing professional development.

Use the hashtag #FLTeachEnglish to join and contribute to social media conversations about this course.

Short video interviews with experienced teachers will be combined with classroom films from around the world to illustrate the main points of each week.

You can register on this course by clicking here.

Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching

What is language? How do we learn meaning in a new language? What is easy and hard about learning another language? And what is the best way to teach other languages?

This free online course suggests some answers to these questions and is aimed at graduates with an interest in the development of languages and language teaching.

The next round of this course starts on 19 October, 2015.

It has been developed by the University of Southampton and the British Council, and draws on their exciting joint online course, MA in English Language Teaching.

It will give you a taste of postgraduate study in the field of English language teaching. However, no prior knowledge is required to take part in the course and we welcome anyone who is curious to know more about language learning and teaching.

Start date: 19 October 2015

Duration: 4 weeks (engagement of three hours per week)

Who it's for: Graduates with an interest in the development of languages and language teaching

Price: Free

Certificate: You can buy a Statement of Participation for this course — a personalised, printed certificate to show that you’ve taken part.

Course overview

The course takes place over four weeks. It will introduce you to some of the latest ideas in research and practice in language learning and teaching. We will:

  • Explore second language learning and what it means to learn language
  • Consider language classrooms and how teaching affects our language learning
  • Look at the use of technology in teaching, and its benefits and challenges for language learning.

Finally, we will investigate the case of English – the most widely learnt and taught language in the world. How has English achieved this position? What are the implications of the spread of English for policy, teaching and other languages?

The course includes quizzes, activities, discussions and videos filmed around the world. The videos feature experts such as British Council teachers, and staff and students at the University of Southampton.

During the course, you will hear different voices sharing their ideas and opinions – and we want to hear yours too. How do you use language in your life? What is your experience of language learning and teaching? Join us – to discuss effective language learning and teaching.

Scholarship opportunities

If you are a fully participating learner in “Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching,” you will be eligible to apply for a scholarship to cover part of the MA fees. You will find out more when you join the course.

Exploring English: Language and Culture

The Exploring English: Language and Culture free online course started on 22 June 2015. The course is for people who are learning English and who are interested in finding out more about British culture and improving their English language skills.

The course will use short videos to present a different topic each week, including English as a global language, the environment, entrepreneurship and literature. Filmed in Great Britain, these videos will help you to develop your listening skills as you watch authentic examples of people speaking English. Our experienced tutor will examine some of the language used in the videos and will draw your attention to useful points that will help you improve your spoken and written English.

The course does not follow a language syllabus but takes authentic English in context as its starting point. Short quizzes and discussions will help you measure your understanding and practise your English throughout the course. At the end of each week you will be asked to describe your own feelings and experiences about that week’s topic in a short piece of writing.

You can find out more about this course in Chris Cavey’s post for the FutureLearn blog: 3 tips for getting the most out of Exploring English.

Use the hashtag #FLlearnenglish to join and contribute to social media conversations about this course.

For more information

You can email EnglishIran@britishcouncil.org for more information on the courses.

See also