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Course in Secondary English Language Teaching

Who should attend?

The courses targets in-service teachers who wish to develop the knowledge and skills needed to teach English First Additional Language in schools at intermediate and senior phase. This course will be ideal for:

  • Practising teachers who require support to develop knowledge and practices to implement the National Curriculum Statement successfully
  • Mentor teachers and lead professional teachers
  • Unqualified and under-qualified practising teachers
  • Teachers whose students encounter learning difficulties in their classrooms due to language barriers

Admission reguirements

  • Minimum of 18 years of age
  • Minimum of a National Senior Certificate (Grade 12)
  • First language proficiency in English or at least level B2 described by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, or approximately equivalent to an IELTS score 5.0 - 6.0
  • Successful completion of a pre-course English assessment and interview

Course objectives

By the end of the CiSELT course participants should be able to:

  1. Teaching Skills and Competencies:
    • Reflect on, analyse and discuss the learning needs of individuals as well as groups of learners in terms of learning style, level and goals; use this understanding to set realistic goals and adapt teaching methodology and materials as appropriate to take account of these needs
    • Plan lessons designed to enable a group of learners to achieve stipulated long and medium-term goals in ways which are appropriate to their level; make use of timing, pace and variety of class structure and learning activities to motivate learners; effectively develop learners' language knowledge and language skills to achieve planned learning outcomes
    • Demonstrate sensitivity and competence in classroom management; set up appropriate groups and class structures to maximise learning; use available resources effectively and creatively, giving clear instructions, managing appropriate timing and smooth transitions between activities; maintain good discipline and a positive learning ambiance
    • Demonstrate an ability to analyse language and language use in order to teach learners to express meaning involving complex concepts, skills and language, providing learners with accurate and appropriate information on language systems and language use (including pronunciation) with clear explanations and models; also perceive, analyse and as appropriate correct / provide feedback on learners’ errors
    • Facilitate the development of learning skills and strategies in individuals and groups of learners, encouraging learner responsibility and effective learning strategies and helping learners to reflect on their own performance and maximise their potential; have an understanding of phonology and the importance of teaching pronunciation
  2. Transferable Skills:
    • Demonstrate critical thinking and an open mind to new ideas through discussion and working collaboratively with others
    • In written work, acknowledge sources and reference all quotations, citations and sources appropriately
    • Learn by reading professional books and articles, taking notes as appropriate, and apply new knowledge to practice
  3. Knowledge and Understanding:
    • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the principles which underlie the above skills and competencies both verbally in discussion and in writing
    • Explain the rationale behind plans and action in the classroom
    • Demonstrate a good knowledge of the English language drawing upon this understanding to plan and execute lessons as well as to evaluate and give feedback on learner performance

Course content

The CiSELT course consists of 8 modules divided into 41 units:
  1. Introduction to Language Teaching
    • How learners learn languages
    • Lesson planning
  2. Language Awareness

    • Teaching grammar
    • Vocabulary
    • ;Pronunciation
    • Classroom language
    • Errors and mistakes
  3. Skills

    • Speaking
    • Listening
    • Reading
    • Writing
    • Thinking skills
    • Integrating all the skills
  4. Core Classroom Issues

    • Learner centred classrooms
    • Task based learning
    • Syllabuses and coursebooks
    • Motivating teenagers
    • Working with limited resources
    • Observation and feedback
    • Testing
    • Classroom management
  5. Classroom Processes

    • Mixed abilities in the English Language Teaching (ELT) classroom
    • Group dynamics
    • Mono-lingual contexts
    • Multi-lingual contexts
    • Organising teaching observations
  6. Content Focused Learning and Teaching

    • English for Specific Purposes (ESP)
    • Content Integrated Language Learning (CLIL)
    • Culture in the ELT classroom
    • Project work
    • an optional unit in Learning Technologies is available but only offered online
  7. Creative Teaching and Learning

    • Creating language arts
    • Music and song in the ELT classroom
    • Visual arts
    • Drama
    • Literature in the South African Context
    • The Genre Approach to Writing
  8. Special Needs and Inclusive Learning

    • Identifying special language needs
    • Effective strategies for special language needs
    • Dealing with challenging learners - identifying the issues
    • Effective strategies for dealing with challenging learners

Course structure

The CiSELT course includes theoretical and practical components. In the input sessions, our trained and experienced language teacher trainers will cover theoretical aspects of the course. The teaching practice component provides trainees with opportunities to plan and present lessons. These teaching practice sessions are observed by experienced language teacher trainers who provide constructive feedback and help the trainees to develop their language teaching skills.

Duration and time

The CiSELT course is a 180 notional hour with at least 60 contact hours and 120 self-study. The CiSELT course is offered over a period of 12 weeks with 5 contact hours per week. These weekly contact hours can be held over two evening sessions or alternatively on a Saturday morning.

Assessment methods

Assessment is continuous and there is no final exam. Trainees are assessed on their practical teaching as well as a portfolio of written assignments. In order to receive a certificate, participants must submit and pass the following: formative course assignments, a summative final assignment and in addition to this marks will be awarded for attendance and participation.


A Wits Language School Certificate of Competence is awarded on the successful completion of the course. The University of the Witwatersrand regards this as an NQFlevel 5 qualification.

Creative language teaching workshops