Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the learning format of your courses? What kind of learning platform do you use?
All of our courses are online so they can be accessed from anywhere around the world. Our Educator’s Course, Principal’s Course and Nursery/Preschool Course also require you to incorporate some real-world work and/or case study from your classroom or school. In this way, these courses become more like “blended learning” formats.
All of our courses include readings from our book, “Bilingual & Multilingual Learners from the Inside-Out: Elevating Expertise in Classrooms and Beyond,” but also include teaching videos and questions for responding and interacting. Some of our courses also require you to do a short online quiz after your reading or learning. We have designed the course format to be engaging and motivating. All of our courses offer flexibility so that you can work at your own pace within a specific deadline. For example, in our Educator’s Course, each module must be completed by the end of the week, but during the week, you can decide when to complete your learning activities according to your own schedule.
We use a very easy-to-navigate online platform which allows you to download all of your course materials, interact with others, post discussions and share photos and videos. You don’t need to have any special software or additional downloads. The platform is easily accessible as long as you have Internet. Also, it doesn’t matter whether you have a Mac or PC.
What is the difference between a "certified" course and a "certificate" course? Who can take them?
A “certified course” means that participants must meet specific criteria in order to pass the course successfully. A “certificate” course means that participants have completed the course (e.g. they have completed a 4-hour course) but it is not criterion-based.
Also note, our “certified” courses are for teachers who already have teaching qualifications (e.g. like a B.Ed. or P.G.C.E.) or an early childhood/nursery qualification (for our Nursery/Preschool Teacher’s course). This is to ensure they are able to cope with prerequisite concepts related to pedagogy and instruction and that they don’t encounter any challenges that would make them fall behind. In some circumstances, we accept teachers who may not have formal teaching qualifications but do have a recommendation from their Principal or Head. Feel free to email us if you have any questions about this: CONTACT US Our other courses are open to teaching assistants, unqualified teachers, or those in a variety of other kinds of positions (e.g. counselors, etc.).
Where can I find specific information about each course?
Just go to our COURSES page and then click on the individual course you want to know about. Then you will be taken to new page with all of the detailed information freely available. You’ll also be able to download a course brochure there. If you have any other specific questions that are not answered, you can email us HERE *Please make sure you have read the course information and these FAQs carefully before emailing us!
Why are whole-school prices for the Educator's Course so much cheaper than individual prices?
Good question! Since we are a social enterprise, we have a social impact goal to spread our course to as many teachers as we possibly can around the world. Part of making that possible means that we make costs a low barrier to enrollment. Enrolling whole-schools really helps this goal so they get a great cost-benefit when you factor the individual costs per teacher in our whole-school fees. However, if you are a group of teachers between 7-120 people, you can also pay the flat fee of £ 3,565 as long as you have one co-ordinator to organize all participants’ information and payments.
When we enroll individual teachers, there are more marketing costs and administration so the price point is higher. However, feedback from teachers who have taken the Educator’s Course and paid £533 feel that it is still fantastic value for the quality and amount of information, feedback and resources given to participants.
How do I know if the Educator's Course is relevant for our school?
We’ve deliberately designed the course in such a way that it is open-ended and provides multiple perspectives. So whether you work in a public (government) school in the US, a private school in the UK or an international school in Singapore for example, the Educator’s Course will be meanginful and relevant for you and your teachers.
As the course-creators, we work internationally and have many years experience working with different countries’ curricula. We’ve also personally taught students from countless cultures and linguistic backgrounds. We believe that this is part of the value we offer to participants in our courses-we understand the students you work with and your curriculum.
Within all of our courses, we encourage participants to use their own school, student community and classrooms as the context for all of their learning activities. This makes their learning experience richer and more relevant. For example, as part of the learning activities, we ask participants to do a case study on a student in their school and find out about their language(s) and culture in different ways. This is a much more meaningful exercise than simply giving our participants pre-made case studies to analyse. In this way, the information participants uncover is very useful and practical, helping them understand more about the concepts and the students they are working with.
Are your courses only for ESL/EAL teachers?
Not at all! In fact, our courses are designed for every teacher-ESL teacher, classroom teacher or subject teacher. Since so many teachers work with BMLs, and the numbers of BMLs continue to grow, it is especially important that each and every teacher has access to the knowledge-base and strategies they need to work with BMLs effectively.
I noticed that your Educator's Course information stated the course is open for all teachers whether they teach the early years, middle years or secondary school. How does this work?
That’s right. It actually doesn’t matter which grade/year or subject you teach. This course focuses on the acquisition of additional languages in BMLs and how that relates to classroom learning (whatever classroom that happens to be). Since every teacher will learn about the language and learning trajectories in BMLs, they can apply this learning to the particular age groups and subjects they are working with. For example, in one learning activity, teachers will modify a lesson using specific principles they’ve learned. They will do this with any lesson they are going to be teaching and then they’ll post/share that lesson. In this way, all participants can see a variety of examples reinforcing the concepts they’re learning across different ages, stages and subjects. It’s proved to be very interesting and effective for participants.
Do you have a specific course for nursery/preschool teachers?
Yes! We have a 4-week, certified course for teachers/practitioners who are not working within a K-13 school environment (e.g. with children from birth to age 4 or 5).
In fact, we have a particular interest in encouraging you to take our course. Research shows that early childhood is actually the ideal time to accelerate vocabulary development. This is critical since BMLs often face challenges with literacy and vocabulary gaps that can start to negatively impact their learning around grades 4 & 5 (years 5 & 6). These gaps can then grow wider, ultimately affecting BMLs’ school and life success. Empowering nurseries and preschools to understand the important role they play in impacting their students’ learning trajectories is not the only advantage. They also have a unique role in advising parents about bilingualism and multilingualism and ensuring that parents understand the right information when it comes to supporting these learners. Too often, parents are incorrectly told they should speak “English only” and this can have negative social, cultural, academic and familial impact.
*We also offer whole-school prices for this course if there are 15 or more teachers (£3,565) for individual teachers).
I teach BMLs in a bilingual (e.g. English/Spanish) program. Would your courses still be relevant to me?
Definitely. Although our courses are primarily for teachers working in English classrooms, the information would still apply to those teachers working in bilingual classrooms, as long as one of the languages is English. All the research, information and instructional strategies would still be extremely applicable and important.
On average, how much commitment does the Educator's Course require from participants each week?
On average, participants spend between 3-4 hours per week on their course work. Since there is an end-of-week deadline, participants can work at their own pace and create their own schedule.
Are materials included in the course fees or do we need to purchase them additionally?
All of the materials are available to you at no extra cost. You will be provided with a digital text (eBook) and other digital resources. If you prefer to have a hard copy of the text for yourself, you can purchase it online (see the tab ‘Book’ for a direct link).
Do you have more information about the Award - School of Excellence for Bilingual and Multilingual Learners?
You can find all the information you need about our “School of Excellence Award for Bilingual & Multilingual Learners” on our ‘AWARD’ page right here on our website. You can also take a short-cut and download our brochure right now, which has all the information HERE.