Professional Development Videos

  • Language, Society and Culture

Until recently, culture has been the ‘elephant in the room’ with language teachers. There was a reluctance to admit that while teaching the English language we are also teaching the culture that goes along with that language. This attitude has changed, however, as research has revealed time and time again that language and culture have a very tight, un-severable relationship - we can’t teach one without teaching the other. The courses in this section provide language teachers with a greater understanding of the relationship between language and culture as well as ideas for teaching culture in the language classroom in a way that is respectful and pragmatic.

Language Use and Age

Researchers have found that humans use language differently as they move from one age group to the next throughout their lifespans.

Language Use and Gender

Language use and gender is a fascinating area of language use that generates captivating debate, is often a source of comedy and can even create some tension if you get too involved in the topic.

Language Use and Social Class

Language use and social class is an interesting topic, not only for researchers, but also for language teachers because it opens up a lot of language variation that we want to make our students aware of.

Language Use and Technology

The topic of a lot of debate today is how language use is changing as a result of the different technologies that have been developed, and are being developed, for communication.

The Power of Language Use

When we teach language, we often position it as a tool for communication, which it very legitimately is. This is a positive shift from previous generations where language was seen as an academic subject – you learned it, received a grade and promptly forgot it.

Understanding Nonverbal Communication

In this highly interactive course, we examine the cultural complexities of nonverbal communication. We define the purposes of nonverbal communication in social settings and the ways in which it can be misunderstood in intercultural contexts.