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E-modules to hone your communicative skills for teaching in English

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In this first of a four-part series on communicative skills for teaching in English, the English-medium Instruction team introduces two e-modules dedicated to lecturing in English with an international student body. The e-modules are available to teachers on the ILIAS Continuing Education and Open Educational Resources (OER) learning platform.

Communicative skill of lecturing

Regardless of the content provided during a lecture, there are good-practice principles one can follow to ensure a lecture given in English is easier for international students to follow. These principles entail both macro- and micro-factors.

Teaching in English – Macro-factors for lecturing
In light of the extra cognitive load students face when learning academic content in a foreign language, this e-module addresses the practices of pre-lecture exposure to content, explaining lecture structure and communicating SMART learning objectives. Adhering to these principles inevitably reduces students' cognitive load, raises retention rates and enhances learning during a lecture.

Teaching in English – Micro-factors for lecturing
While the macro-planning of a lecture within the context of a course is paramount, micro-factors during the lecture also reduce the cognitive load students face when learning academic content in a foreign language. This e-module covers three good-practice techniques: using language to guide students through your line of thought (signposting), questions (different types as well) to break up the monologue nature of lectures, and question opportunities for students. Following these best practices lets students both focus more on content and engage more with the teacher and their peers during the lecture.

Both of these e-modules combine brief video tutorials, downloadable resources and clips of authentic teaching with embedded questions to provide you with key take-aways, upon which you can reflect and incorporate into your future lectures. Currently, twenty-one teachers have accessed the lecturing modules and are working through them.

Beyond lecturing e-modules

Absorbing information and analyzing clips of teaching in these two e-modules are a good first step in developing this professional academic competency. However, it shouldn't be the last step. Follow up on this start by attending our next lecturing workshop and/or requesting a classroom visit with comprehensive expert feedback

Be on the lookout next month when we delve into student interaction, part two of our four-part series on communicative skills to enhance student learning in your English-taught class.

To find out more about other training options, visit our website or contact us at or 203-8962.


English-medium Instruction Team (Qualitätspaktlehre)

Gregg Dubow & Dr. Susanne Gundermann