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York St John University | University in the Heart of York > Changing Englishes: An Interactive Course for Teachers

Changing Englishes: An Interactive Course for Teachers

Changing Englishes: An Interactive Course for Teachers


English, like all languages, is constantly changing. But in these globalizing times, it is changing at a faster pace and in a greater number of contexts of use than ever before. Non-native users, including learners and teachers, are the agents of much of this dynamism, bringing to English the rich influences of their local languages and cultural contexts. They are also recrafting English to serve as a lingua franca between users of different first languages. The idea of English as a foreign language, belonging to native speakers only, is rapidly passing. And referring to English in the singular—which has always misrepresented its diversity—is no longer adequate.

Changing Englishes is an urgent issue for teachers. This online course is designed to help you meet the challenges it poses and to make the most of the opportunities it offers.


Who the course is for

This course is for experienced and trainee teachers of English as an additional language who are open to new ways of thinking about their profession and are interested in English as it is used around the world, especially as a lingua franca.

Unlike many resources and discussions in English Language Teaching, it concentrates on what English teachers teach, and how it is learnt, rather than on how to they teach it.


What the course is about

The course invites visitors to ask the following questions:

  • What is English?
  • How is English used beyond the classroom?
  • How is English learnt in the classroom?
  • How is English learnt beyond the classroom?
  • How can English be taught in the classroom?


What the course is for

This course has two principal objectives:

  • to help raise teachers' awareness of the variable and dynamic nature of global English and to reflect on implications for their professional practice
  • to engage teachers in the process of developing learning and teaching strategies which respond to the reality of global English but which are relevant for their local needs and contexts

The course won't supply you with many classroom activities or materials. Neither will it tell you how to teach English as an International Language or English as a Lingua Franca. However, there are practical suggestions for teachers in Units 4 and 5, and on the Resources page. You can also share your own resources on this site.


How the course works

  • The course guides you through a series of conceptual units and activities. The activities include opportunities to:
  • reflect on your own beliefs and levels of awareness, as well as on new ideas and data that we provide
  • try flashcard quizzes as a 'concept check' of your understanding
  • collect and analyse your own data
  • contribute your own findings and reflections to this Discussion Board and read about the views of other users of this course
  • All activities will give you feedback, some of it tuned to your specific responses: just click on the feedback icons which look like the following:

         Feedback button            

  • The activities and feedback form an integral part of the course, often presenting new ideas which will be needed subsequently, so we recommend that you don't skip them
  • A progress bar tells you how far you have got and how much further you can go. How much time you spend on the course is obviously up to you, but we estimate that you might need about one hour per unit. You may need to make notes during the activities. If so, try typing them into a Word (or similar) document as you go along. That way, you will have a record of your thinking at the end of the course. You will also be able to copy and paste your ideas directly onto the Discussion Board
  • A sidebar gives you access to the Table of Contents and quick links to other parts of the site
  • Technical terms are glossed (just hover over them); clicking on references takes you to the full References list


Creative Commons Attribution

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. You are free to use all material except unattributed images.




Overview of the course »