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Discover Contemporary English

The English language is in a state of flux. This, of course, is nothing new: English has always taken from other languages. It is a glorious hybrid.

While this may be a cause for celebration in some aspects, it necessarily makes things difficult for the English language teacher.

  • How do I know if the English I am presenting to my students in the classroom is ‘correct’ English?
  • Is this the English that native speakers are actually using, or something that is preserved in an out-of-date textbook?
  • Do the ‘rules’ I learnt at school and university still hold true?
  • And given that most English is now used in interactions between non-native speakers, what standards apply?

These are all questions that this course, brought to you in association with Nile, will address.

This course will cover the following areas:

  • Gaining familiarity with the technology used
  • Looking at a wide range of print and online media, television and radio
  • The language used to discuss and describe a current affairs story
  • Looking at text-speak, synchronous chat, the language of emails, Facebook and Twitter
  • Reading a text related to the topic (e.g. a review or report) and analysing the language used in it
  • Considering changing professional roles and the language used to describe them
  • Considering the questions of standards in global English
  • Looking at how English has become a global language

This course will extend the participant’s understanding and critical awareness of:

  • Some general ideas of what constitutes contemporary English
  • A number of different language corpora, and how these can be useful tools for the teacher and the student
  • The processes involved in word formation and coinage
  • The concept of a grammar of spoken English (including vague language, ellipsis, backchannels)
  • The cultural and intercultural aspects of their topic, their role in social change and popular culture and the language generated by this
  • A list of lexical items relating to the world of work and particular professional spheres
  • A list of lexical items relating to loan words
  • The English ‘language landscape’ of their own environment

To know more about the course, watch this introductory video by Nile course leader Chris Rose.

The course consists of 8 online units, each lasting one week and requiring about 5 hours of individual study and work on Nile’s online platform. The online work is then explored more in detail during two face-to-face workshops in Thiene, as well as two online live sessions.

At the end of the course, participants have the opportunity to complete a final assignment that will be graded by the tutor. Those who complete the final assignment will receive a Certificate of Achievement. Should you chose not to complete the assignment, you will still receive a Certificate of Attendance.

The quality of online teaching and learning is guaranteed by:

Timetable and dates

  • 19th October-18th December 2020: online course (8 units, one per week with a one-week break half-way)
  • Monday 19th October 2020: Zoom live session (about one hour) to get to know the tutor, course participants as well as the objectives and logistics of the course
  • 7th November 2020: 4-hour face-to-face workshop in Thiene, Italy
  • 5th December 2020: 4-hour face-to-face workshop in Thiene, Italy
  • 18th December 2020: Zoom live session (about one hour) to conlude the course and discuss the final assignment.
  • Week of 14-18 December 2020: tutorials with course participants who wish to complete the final assignment
  • 11th January 2021: deadline for submission of final assignment.
The total cost of the course is 295 euros, inclusive of access to Nile online glossary and library.
How to enrol
To enrol, please send an email to training@thelondonschool with the name of the course and your reasons for enrolling.