Course curriculum

  • 1

    Important information and course introduction

  • 2

    Understanding the problems of teaching & studying a language at low levels (approx 120 minutes)

    • Beliefs about learning and teaching (10 mins)

    • Teaching and learning survey (10 mins)

    • Difficulties for low level students (40 mins)

    • Teaching the alphabet and choices (20 mins)

    • Choices in teaching and learning (15 mins)

    • Supporting learning or not. Traditional v Spiral syllabus (30 mins)

    • Class management and adapting material (15 mins)

    • Task and points for discussion

  • 3

    How can I help students engage in real communication if they don't know grammar?

    • Working from dialogues: intro and outline

    • Russian two ways: grammar to conversation or conversation with grammar

    • Dialogue building in action

    • Integrating dialogue building with a coursebook

    • Messaging: from dialogues to chunking and individualised practice

    • Task and points for discussion

  • 4

    Students struggling to say sounds and match sounds to words: what do I do?

    • Feel my pain: intro and outline

    • Getting students to repeat and making sounds visible

    • Phonics and reading

    • Helping students hear outside a listening lesson

    • Focus on hearing in the listening lesson

    • Task and points for discussion

  • 5

    How can students express themselves? Adding value to coursebook exercises.

    • Elementary is not beginner: intro and outline

    • Making the most of grammar exercises

    • Making the most of a vocabulary exercise

    • Giving the students a voice: individualised portfolios

    • Giving students a voice: Single word answers to whole class one-to-one

    • Whole class one-to-one in action: reformulating and noticing

    • Giving students a voice: other vocabulary choices

    • Task and points for discussion

  • 6

    Further reading, links and feedback

    • Thanks and further study

    • Feedback

  • 7

    What words should I choose and how do I teach them?

    • Words are more important than grammar: intro and outline

    • How vocabulary choices and examples can better enable communication.

    • What do I do with mixed levels and what if I can't translate?

    • Presenting vocabulary up front

    • Collocation and grammaticalised lexis

    • Putting it all together: presenting words with grammar

    • Task and points for discussion

  • Free webinar

    Every month we run webinars on teacher development and aspects of language and culture. With this course, you can choose one to participate in for free. See what we have to offer at

  • Interaction with tutors and other teachers

    All our self-study courses have a discussion board monitored by Lexical Lab tutors, but you will also get the chance to talk directly with tutors and participants through our closed Facebook group and the three live meet-ups we run each year. A great chance to ask questions and share post-course experiences.

  • Exclusive offers

    For anyone who completes a course with us you will get a certificate of success as well as access to exclusive offers on future courses, webinars and products from Lexical Lab.

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See how you can address the problems of low level learners and enable greater communication.


5 star rating

Great course

Angela McClenaghan

An in-depth examination of teaching at low levels, especially enjoyed the focus on adapting materials and building up materials and dialogues with students.

An in-depth examination of teaching at low levels, especially enjoyed the focus on adapting materials and building up materials and dialogues with students.

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