MOOCs - free online courses

Our Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) are free programmes which extend teachers' and students' learning through approaches beyond the linguistic. Our MOOCs are delivered on the FutureLearn platform.  Find out more about the courses we are offering in 2016.

October/November 2016

Here you can find materials for:

  • Teaching for Success: Learning and Learners (10 October)
  • Understanding IELTS: Techniques for English Language Tests (17 October)
  • Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching (17 October)
  • English in Early Childhood: Language Learning and Development (24 October)
  • English for the Workplace (31 October)
  • Teaching for Success: the Classroom and the World (21 November).

For students and teachers

How to Succeed in the Global Workplace

Landed your first job? Get prepared. Learn the skills and techniques you need to succeed in the global workplace. A new online course from the British Council and the University of Sheffield can help you communicate effectively across cultures, build new relationships and make the all-important good first impression. 

English in Early Childhood: Language Learning & Development

The English in Early Childhood MOOC explores how young children learn English and investigates many other aspects of early childhood learning and development. This MOOC has been created for English teachers; early childhood practitioners; or anyone who is interested in the areas of child development and language acquisition. It will also be of interest to parents of young children, who wish to support their child learning an additional language. Length: 6 weeks

For students

Exploring English: Language and Culture

Learn English while you learn more about British culture. This course uses short videos, filmed in the United Kingdom, to introduce you to a new topic every week. Topics include English as a global language, the environment, entrepreneurship and literature. Short quizzes and discussions will help you measure your understanding and practise your English throughout the course. This MOOC also marks the centenary of Roald Dahl's birth with a focus on the author's work in the literature module.  

Exploring English: Shakespeare

Improve your English skills with Shakespeare’s life and works. Material includes testimony from actors and experts from around the world. Discover more about the universal themes addressed in Shakespeare's work as well as the many expressions he introduced to the English language and which we still use.

Understanding IELTS: Techniques for English Language Tests

Anyone thinking about taking an English language test will find this MOOC particularly useful, but all English language learners will benefit from the tips and advice given in the course. The course helps learners improve their English and prepare for tests, such as IELTS reading, writing, speaking and listening. IELTS is the world’s most popular English language test, with 2.2 million tests taken annually.

Exploring English: Magna Carta 

We mark the anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta through a new MOOC that will run for three weeks. This course gives learners the opportunity to improve their English language skills whilst exploring this symbolic treaty, its role in shaping history in England, and its influence around the world. At each step of the course, our video tutor and team of educators will guide you through the topic and introduce a language focus, by looking at some examples of English in use in videos and texts.

For teachers

Teaching for Success: Learning and Learners

This free online course will help English language teachers develop the skills and practices they need for their continuing professional development (CPD).  In this course they will look at four professional practices: understanding learners, knowing the subject; using inclusive practices and assessing learning.

Teaching for Success: Lessons and Teaching

If you teach English at primary, secondary or higher levels and you want to give your professional development a boost, this is our MOOC for you! The course looks at a different professional practice each week and topics include lesson planning, classroom management and classroom resources. This course is part of the Teaching for Success: Practices for English Language Teaching program, which will enable you to develop professionally as an English language teacher.

Teaching for Success: the Classroom and the World

This free online course will help English language teachers develop the skills and practices they need for their continuing professional development (CPD). In this course you will look at four professional practices: Integrating ICT, Promoting 21st-century skills, Using multilingual approaches, and Understanding educational policies and practice. This course is part of the Teaching for Success: Practices for English Language Teaching program, which will enable you to develop professionally as an English language teacher.