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TELT: Frequently asked questions

TELT (TEachers Learning to Teach languages) study is available in four languages: French, German, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese. For each of these languages, you have the choice between two levels of study: beginners and post-beginners.

All courses at both levels are 15 credits.

When do the courses take place and how long are they?

The course starts each year on the first Saturday in October and runs until the first week in July.

Please note, all students are expected to engage with the self-study induction materials and attend one of the induction webinars taking place in the two weeks before the course start date. This will ensure that all students are ready to get started with their course work on the first Saturday in October.

The courses will run over 35 weeks. This excludes holidays: there will be a two-week break over Christmas and a three week-break over Easter.

Can I defer or withdraw from my study of this course?

Once the module start date has passed, deferral is not possible. The fee will still be payable and cannot be refunded if you decide to defer or withdraw from studying the module. That is why it is important to plan ahead and ensure you will be able to dedicate sufficient time to your study.

How much of a time commitment does studying this course mean?

Laptop, notebook, pen, flowersYou will have to spend about 4 hours of study per week on this course.

In addition, and if your circumstances permit, there will be about 1 hour spent applying what you are learning in your classroom.

The course timetable is very flexible - you can decide when you have time during the week to study.

90% of the time you’ll spend on this course can be scheduled according to your own availability.

Will there be any recognition of the work I am doing on this course?

Yes, the language learning part of the course will be accredited and you can gain 15 Level 1 study credit points, which count towards an OU Open Degree.

You will receive a certificate for successful completion of the pedagogy strand of the study.

In addition, if you are a General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS)-registered teacher in Scotland, you have the opportunity to opt into a GTCS-accredited professional recognition programme for your study of the pedagogy strand of the course.

Where will I have to ‘go’ online to study?

You will receive an Open University login after registration and instructions on how to log on to your StudentHome page.

On StudentHome you will be able to access the course website, where students and tutors meet and where all materials and online tools for your study can be accessed, including the online tutorial room.

What kind of things are part of studying this course?

a. For the language part, you will:

  • be supported by your OU language tutor who also marks your assignments.
  • undertake guided self-study with the course activities and audio/video recordings. These materials are online, so that you can do all the work on your computer. Most of the materials can be downloaded, the course activities can be printed off, if you wish.
  • work on the interactive online activities of the course, i.e. quizzes to test your reading and listening skills, as well as activities to help you with vocabulary and grammar revision.
  • produce two short assignments, one written and one spoken (which you will record and send electronically to your tutor).

b. For the pedagogy part, you will:

  • be supported by your pedagogy tutor, in most cases a different person from the language tutor. The pedagogy tutor will moderate the unit forum discussions and assess your performance in the formative applications tasks; and if you are based in Scotland and have opted into professional recognition, the tutor from SCILT (Scotland's National Centre for Languages) will also assess your GTCS professional recognition contributions.
  • study input materials we have selected to give you an overview of key aspects of the areas of modern foreign languages teaching at primary level studied in this course.
  • communicate with your fellow students in the online forum to exchange views on what you have studied.
  • apply what you have learned in your own classroom in planned activities.
  • reflect on how the teaching went and summarise your findings in a forum discussion with your peers.
  • For GTCS recognition in Scotland, you will produce a blog post at the end of each of the 5 course Units, which will be reflective pieces on your experiences applying pedagogical theory and the language you have studied, in your own classroom and talking about this with your fellow students.

Will there be any face-to-face tutorials as part of this course?

Animated person talking - close up of handsAt the moment, due to Covid, all tutorials are online (and non compulsory). We hope to reintroduce occasional face to face day school events, to complement our online tutorials, once it is safe to do so and in line with Covid guidance.  

Whether face to face or online, at these you will practise the language you are studying, learn more about teaching modern foreign languages at primary school level, and have the chance to meet and share your views and experiences with other participants and your tutors.

The times and dates will be in your tutorial timetable.

Will there be any other workshops/tutorials?

Yes, most (non-compulsory) tutorials are online tutorials where you meet your tutor and fellow students and can ask any questions you may have.

These tutorials are not obligatory, but we recommend that you try to attend as many as you can, as they will boost your confidence in speaking, and you will be able to see how to teach this language in practice – you will experience language teaching from the student perspective, understand good practice in MFL (Modern Foreign Languages) classroom teaching and take part in activities you might want to replicate in your own classroom.

We will also offer workshops with your tutors revolving around the study of the pedagogy of teaching MFL online.

The workshops and tutorials will be taking place at different times and dates to give you a choice. Usually, they run for about 60 to 90 minutes per session. There will be a set timetable for these sessions and you will be able to book a place in these tutorials.

In the pedagogy strand you will be able to start planning your application tasks together and discuss unit aspects. In the language study part you have the opportunity to practise your speaking, revise vocabulary and grammar aspects.

Will I learn more about modern foreign languages in the wider cultural context?

Interviews with people who work in cultural institutions, run successful professional support networks for teachers as well as a range of community initiatives, are included in the course content to show you what is ‘out there’.

How can I prepare for my TELT study?

In the two weeks before module start the programme team run an induction programme, with dedicated online induction tutorials where students find out how to study effectively and meet their peers and the tutor team.

We encourage every student to attend an induction tutorial. These are invaluable in helping you understand how the programme works prior to your module start.