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 8. Content-Based Instruction for Language Learners


Course Description

This course will provide you with an unsderstanding of the main characteristics and types of content-based instruction. It will guide you through ways of balancing the dual focus on language and content as well as introduce you to a helpful framework for designing content-based courses and lessons. 

This practical course examines several useful activity types and considers how to integrate listening, speaking, reading, and writing in content-based instruction for students at different proficiency levels. 

Also, students who successfully complete this course will receive a TESOL Certificate of Completion.

Instructor: Kathleen M. Bailey

Kathleen M. Bailey received her PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of California at Los Angeles. Since 1981 she has worked at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, where she has been the head of the TESOL-TFL MA Program and the director of the Intensive English Program. 

She is currently the faculty advisor to the Language Program Administration Certificate students and the Peace Corps Masters Internationalist candidates. Her research and teaching interests include language assessment, teacher education and supervision, the teaching of speaking and listening, and research methodology. In 1998-99 she was the president of the international TESOL association.


Internet access, e-mail, the Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox Web browser, and the Adobe Flash and PDF plug-ins (two free and simple downloads you obtain at by clicking Get Adobe Flash Player and Get Adobe Reader).


A new section of each course starts monthly. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.

All courses run for six weeks, with a two-week grace period at the end. Two lessons are released each week for the six-week duration of the course. You do not have to be present when lessons are released. You will have access to all lessons until the course ends. However, the interactive discussion area that accompanies each lesson will automatically close two weeks after the lesson is released. As such, we strongly recommend that you complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.

The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks to complete all of your course work, including the final exam.     


Week 1

Wednesday – Lesson 01
An Introduction to Content-Based Instruction

Friday – Lesson 02
The Main Types of Content-Based Instruction

Week 2

Wednesday – Lesson 03
Content-Based Instruction and Other Key Curricular Models

Friday – Lesson 04
A Framework for Designing Content-Based Curricula and Lessons

Week 3 

Wednesday – Lesson 05
Balancing Language and Content in Content-Based Instruction

Friday – Lesson 06
Choosing and Developing Content Foci

Week 4

Wednesday – Lesson 07
Selecting and Developing Materials in Content-Based Instruction

Friday – Lesson 08
Useful Activity Types in Content-Based Instruction

Week 5

Wednesday – Lesson 09
Integrating the Four Skills and Language Components in Content-Based Instruction

Friday – Lesson 10
Working with Students at Various Proficiency Levels

Week 6

Wednesday – Lesson 11
Technology Resources and Content-Based Instruction

Friday – Lesson 12
Assessment Issues in Content-Based Instruction

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