ENG 413: Theories and strategies in English learning / teaching

Kent Lee

Center for Teaching & Learning
Korea University




See here for grading criteria.

First half

Weeks 1-2: Intro

Teaching philosophy statement: Draft version

A teaching philosophy statement [TPS] can address a few or some (but not all) of the following topics.

You can project yourself a few years in the future and imagine that you are applying for a teaching job somewhere. The draft should be about 2 pages (double-spaced). You can refer to the following for guidelines and ideas on what to write about. For the TPS manual, you can disregard section 3 on worldviews / paradigms (that is for professors in various fields). The manual has a few appropriate examples - yours need not be as long as many of these examples. [1] TPS manual ; [2] TPS rubric - guidelines for a good TPS; [3] TPS example for language teachers

Motivation and personality factors

Fill out this Google Form assignment about motivation and personality factors. Please read the handouts and readings on the materials page on MBTI, learning styles, and motivation.

Sample course syllabus

Imagine a new course that you might design and teach in the future, and develop a sample syllabus (document) for it. You can be brief with the policies, but you should have a concise (and not too vague) statement of the course objectives. Be sure to define the type of students this is for, and their background (in the actual syllabus, or in a separate cover sheet or intro section before the actual syllabus). This syllabus should be at least two pages. Make sure that the contents that you outline are reasonable and doable for one semester. Do not copy from someone else's syllabus; this should be your own original syllabus. Refer to the handout on course, syllabus and lesson design (on the materials page).

Midterm portfolio

The following are due during midterms week, in place of a midterm exam.

  1. Teaching philosophy statement (final version)
  2. Course syllabus (final version)

Teaching philosophy statement: Revised version

The revised TPS should be at least 1-2 pages (double-spaced). Try to be real and specific - avoid sounding like many typical TPSs that are fluffy and vague, and sound like commercials or self-promotions. Note that many TPS examples (many examples online or even some in my TPS manual) can sound vague or overly promotional. Your TPS should sound authentic and sincere.

Second half

Minor assignments

  1. Midterm feedback [optional; anonymous feedback form]
  2. Response to Ellis article on inductive / consciousness-raising activities (due 29 April)
  3. Final project outline: Propose your project topic for the lesson plan and micro-teaching assignments here.

Assessment assignment

You will create a sample assessment rubric for a major assignment for a course that you might hypothetically teach. This can be in the form of a one-page chart, table, or other format. In addition, you will need to write a few sentences to explain the assignment, and your specific objectives for the assignment. This could be for any kind of level or target audience. Possible topics include:


Final project: Micro-teaching

You will give a 10-12 minute demo lesson or lecture related to second language teaching. It should be based on the lesson plan assignment. Your micro-teaching can be a presentation of part(s) of the lesson plan, and you can skip over parts of it. Your classmates will serve as pretend students for your lesson.

We will break into four cohorts - two during the last week of class, and two during the final exam period (consisting of 2 separate cohorts, each meeting for 75 minutes). Each micro-teaching session will be 10-12 minutes. You will also fill out evaluation forms to evaluate your colleagues as they present. You only need to attend the session at which you are presenting, but you may visit others as well.


Micro-teaching self-reflection

After your micro-teaching, you will write a self-reflection paper about your teaching and your lesson. This should be at least 2 pages (if double-spaced). In this paper you should assess the strengths and weaknesses of your lesson and presentation, and discuss possible improvements and how you might do it differently in the future. Please send it by the Saturday at the end of finals week to my "+e" email address. This and all other assignments (final lesson plan and assessment / rubric assignments) are due then.

Grading criteria

These are some of the rubrics on which you will be graded (these might be modified slightly, especially the micro-teaching rubric). All of these are available on Grading criteria the grading criteria handout. Here is a list of symbols I use in marking your papers: Editing symbols guide (my own system, which I use in grading your papers)

Major assignment grades

For some major homework assignments I may give letter grades, though I might sometimes give numerical grades, on a 100 point scale. Letter grades are recorded like so. Grades at or near 100 are rare, and are mainly reserved for superintelligent life forms.

A+ = 97
A    = 95
A-  = 92
A-- = 90
B+ = 88
B   = 85
B-  = 82
B-- = 80
C+ = 78
C   = 75
C-  = 72
C-- = 70
F+ = 68
and so on

Grades for minor assignments

Short write-ups such as webform-based write-ups and end-of-class response papers will be graded along the following 10-piont scale.

points criteria criteria
2 minimal effort The student does not try to answer, indicates that s/he does not know, or offers minimal or no response.

4 incorrect answer;low effort The student tries to answer but shows no evidence of making effort; may show serious misconceptions; does not use any information from readings or lectures (or from previous courses, knowledge, or experience) to formulate the response.

6 partially correct answer, but still incomplete; medium effort Student shows some prior knowledge and uses some correct terminology, but does not provide a complete explanation for the answer. Student does not use appropriate information from the readings or lectures (or prior knowledge). Little evidence of original thought or analysis.

8 correct or nearly correct; good effort Student answers the question with few mistakes and with a complete explanation. Student incorporates information from the lectures and readings, and shows original thought or analysis.

10 correct; very high effort Student provides a very detailed explanation, with information from outside the course materials, e.g., has obtained and incorporated more information from outside sources, and/or shows great creativity, original thought, or critical thinking skills.

Syllabus assignment rubric

  1. Course info, contact info
  2. Objectives / goals
  3. Semester schedule
  4. Course contents
  5. Policies
  6. Format, structure & professional quality

Lesson plan assignment rubric

  1. Clear, specific goals, objectives
  2. Structure, organization
  3. Class activities: Clear rationale, related to stated goals / objectives
  4. Contents - well developed, clear
  5. Plan and activities are reasonable for the time allotted
  6. Creativity (if applicable) or effectiveness of contents (e.g., for communicative teaching)
  7. Format, structure & professional quality
  8. Clarity - e.g., another person could read this and know how to teach it
  9. Interactiveness - not a traditional GTM or ALM type lesson, but somehow interactive


Class participation will be assessed as follows:

criterion poor (1/10) excellent (10/10)
Attendance Skipping class; often late; lacking or not providing a valid reason for absence or lateness; seemingly contrived or artificial excuses for absences or tardiness; overburdens prof. with questions about missed work or contents; fails to make up work in time Always in class and on time; contacts prof. about legitimate reasons for repeated lateness or absence; finds out from fellow students about missed work and contents, contacting prof. when necessary; takes care of missed work responsibly

Attentiveness Does not seem to pay attention to lectures; seems to be using devices or materials for non-class-related purposes; falls asleep in class; ...

Usually focused on the lecture, discussion and class activities; well prepared
Active participation Not participating in group & class discussions or class activities; not answering questions or raising relevant questions in class; never talks to prof. after / outside of class about difficulties; or may try to dominate discussions unfairly, not allowing others a chance to participate

Regularly participates in class discussion and activities; asks and/or responds to questions in class; sees prof. about questions or difficulties after class; does not try to dominate discussions
Quality of contributions to class & group discussions Likes to say things that are not relevant, tangential, or self-focused; no intelligent or insightful contributions; says little beyond what is obvious; shows little sign of critical thinking Has intelligent, specific, insightful, focused comments or questions; comments or questions demonstrate critical thinking skills and creativity

Assessment assignment

  1. Criteria [good, detailed categories & grading criteria]
  2. Effectiveness [provides sufficient feedback to students on their performance]
  3. Format & readability
  4. Explanation of rubric & assignment [Your explanation clearly indicates what the rubric & assignment are for, and sufficient explanation of the assignment is provided.]
  5. Style, grammar, mechanics [no grammatical, mechanical, or lexical errors in your rubric or explanations]


  1. Preparation: Suitable preparation and rehearsal, as demonstrated by the quality of the presentation; suitably detailed lesson plan or micro-teaching outline
  2. Delivery: eye contact, poise, body language, confidence, apparent rehearsal, flow; clear speaking and pronunciation
  3. Organization: Good intro, body organization, and conclusion; transitions; clear objectives; good, clear structure
  4. Presentation media: Good use of whiteboard, PPT, Prezi, visual aids, or handouts; well designed materials or media