Advanced English Course for Teachers
Objectives: This course is designed to increase vocabulary, improve fluency and natural expression and address problematic grammar and pronunciation. Every effort will be taken to make the class personalized to the student, addressing individual needs and preferences.
Class time will be dedicated to extensive discussion and analysis of the topics presented. Areas of grammar and pronunciation instruction will be tailored to the needs of the students upon their request or the teacher’s classroom observations. Vocabulary for study will come from weekly readings (mainly of topics relevant to the teachers, such as 2nd Language Acquisition) and class discussion. There will also be a 5-minute vocabulary enhancement activity right at the beginning of every class, where the course leader will bring in vocabulary that may be either new or just part of learners’ passive knowledge.
Student Responsibilities: All students will be expected to take an active stance. This includes participating in classroom discussions and attempting to pinpoint areas for improvement. Work outside of class will include reading texts each week and occasional writings, depending on students´interests and class negotiations.
Course Content: the contents presented below cannot possibly be covered in only one semester. It shows the large range from which learners along with the teacher can choose in order to decide on the topics to be studied. Some of the topics were chosen in order to help teachers understand the origins of their students’pronunciation and grammar problems.
The vowels of American English and the vowels of Brazilian Portuguese.
The consonants of American English and the consonants of Brazilian Portuguese.
§ The syllable structures of Portuguese and English, Epenthesis (e.g. GOODee, BUTee, etc.)
Features of Connected Speech (reduction, linking, assimilation, etc.)
The origins of our students problems: the role of L1, the role of L2, etc.)
Transcriptions (using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA))
How to teach pronunciation (-ED ending, ‘have’ in modal perfects, ‘l’ in final position, silent-e rule, disappearing sounds, linking, awareness-raising, etc.)
Varieties of English (British x American; New York English; Cockney; Estuary English, Northern and Southern varieties, the so-called “standard” varieties)
Verb Tenses (time x tense; tense and aspect)
Modals (degrees of obligation / necessity/ possibility (including will and going to); simple x periphrastic modals; present, past and future using modals)
§ Passive x Active Voice (structure and usage)
The subjunctive Mood
Conditionals (Comparison of all conditionals, including mixed constructions)
Phrasal verbs (phrasal verbs and verbs x prepositions; pronunciation; phrasal verbs x latinate verbs)
Phrasal-Verb-related structures: the resultatives
The basic reading for the course will be the book “How Languages are Learned.”
The vocabulary study will be devided in two parts:
A. Vocabulary enhancement activity: a quick 5-minute activity geared towards presenting new vocabulary items or bringing passive vocabulary into the active realm.
B. The vocabulary content below is based on lexical groups that pose difficulty for the Brazilian learners:
say, speak, talk, tell
few, a few, little, a little
hope, wish and conditional sentences (overlaps with grammar study)
too, enough, like, as.
make, do, have, take
let, leave, rise, raise, lie, lay.
pass, spend, use, waste, see. (overlaps with verb selection)
avoid, prevent, remember, remind. (overlaps with verb selection)
shout, cry, scream, advise, warn, tell. (overlaps with verb selection)