Educating the world through Massive Open Online Courses

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 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.

Click here to register for the course to find more about our courses.

Professional Practices for English Language Teaching

Professional Practices for English Language Teaching (PPELT) is the British Council’s new MOOC for English language teachers.

This free online course is for English language teachers at primary, secondary or higher levels around the world. It will help you develop the skills and practices you need for your continuing professional development (CPD).

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. 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 will be asked to share your own experiences and opinions as you become part of a global community of English language teachers discussing what leads to success.

The course draws on the British Council’s many years of expertise in teacher training and development around the world.

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

The date of the course will be announced soon but you can register interest here.

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 free online course started on 21 September 2015.

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.

Why should you sign up for this course?

  • Take IELTS with confidence
  • Prepare for study in UK, USA and around the world
  • Improve your employability
  • Learn how an IELTS test is assessed
  • Learn more about techniques to teach to take English language tests
  • Learn more about techniques to take English language tests
  • Improve English language skills
  • Live interaction with British Council tutors

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.

Register now!

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. Understanding language: learning and teaching starts on 19 October 2015 and it is aimed at graduates with an interest in the development of languages and language teaching.

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.

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 this course, 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.

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

Register here!

Exploring English: language and culture

The Exploring English: Language and Culture free online course 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.

Register here!