Creating an ELF-aware classroom

Creating an ELF-Aware Classroom with Katy Simpson

Become iTDi certified as an ELF-aware teacher this February with ELTons finalist Katy Simpson. In this four-week course, you’ll learn how to develop learners’ pronunciation, listening skills, and communication strategies to successfully use English as a Lingua Franca (ELF). You’ll learn about ELF research and apply this to your classroom by exploring materials and syllabus design. Whether you’re a novice or experienced teacher, you’ll come away with plenty of practical activities and ideas to empower your learners to become confident and clear global communicators.

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to learn how to prepare your students for the world with Katy and a community of educators around the world.

Live sessions (registered participants only)

  • February 4th – course participants only (60 minutes)
  • February 11th – course participants only (60 minutes)
  • February 18th – course participants only (60 minutes)
  • February 25th – course participants only (60 minutes)
Time: 13:00 – 14:00 GMT – Check your local time here: CONVERT TIME

Register now for one of two levels of participation in this course:

Certificate of Accomplishment

US $99 – Course, Recordings, Handouts, Private Community, Instructor Evaluation.

Certificate of Completion

US $69 – Course, Recordings, Handouts, Private Community


As always, iTDi believes that all teachers deserve the same opportunity to improve themselves. Therefore, a limited number of scholarships will be available for this course. Please apply through our scholarship application.

Week 1: Creating an ELF-aware environment

We’ll start the course with an introduction to English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), what it is and isn’t, and the implications for teachers. We’ll look at examples of activities to raise learners’ awareness of the importance of ELF and examine how ‘ELF-friendly’ our classroom language is. This session will also introduce the theory that underpins practical elements of the course. We will explore how research has developed in this field and look at current trends in ELF research, focusing on how this relates to our classroom practice.

Assignment: Create a classroom activity to raise learners’ awareness of ELF.

Week 2: Teaching pronunciation informed by ELF research

This week we will focus on using ELF research to make informed decisions about teaching pronunciation, rather than using intuition or assuming a goal of ‘native speaker-like’ pronunciation. We’ll examine the Lingua Franca Core (a list of pronunciation priorities based on research into communication breakdown in ELF interactions) and the key concept of intelligibility. We’ll apply theory to the classroom as we explore syllabus design. Participants will come away with practical examples of pronunciation activities, including suggestions for diagnosing learners’ pronunciation needs.

Assignment: Critical analysis of a coursebook’s pronunciation syllabus.

Week 3: Developing listening skills for international contexts

While week 2 focuses on pronunciation for speaking, week 3 will move onto pronunciation for listening. We’ll learn about the pronunciation features of some of the most common accents around the world that learners might hear when using English internationally. We’ll analyse extracts of audio to familiarise learners with these accents, and look at ways to exploit the resources. This session will also examine accent and identity, encouraging participants to reflect on their own attitudes towards language variation and how this might be reflected in the classroom.

Assignment: Find audio materials that could be used in class to familiarise learners with a particular accent, and analyse the pronunciation features which might be difficult for your learners to understand.

Week 4: Training learners to use communication strategies

How can we prepare learners to deal with communication breakdown in ELF interactions? Besides working on their pronunciation and familiarising them with a range of accents, we can also train learners to avoid and repair communication breakdowns using strategies such as paraphrasing or asking for clarification. In this session, we’ll learn about the communication strategies employed by successful ELF users. We’ll explore ways to adapt coursebook materials to focus on these skills, and design our own activities.

Assignment: Adapt a coursebook activity to create a communication strategies lesson, or design your own lesson using authentic materials / learner-generated materials / materials you have created.

Get your professional development certified with iTDi

Participants working toward a Certificate of Completion will be expected to spend about 20 hours on class work. This includes attending all four live sessions (live or through recordings), participating in class forum discussions and completing assigned tasks.

Certificate of Completion $69

In addition to the requirements for the Certificate of Completion, participants working toward a Certificate of Accomplishment will be expected to design a pronunciation / listening / communication strategies syllabus for their learners.

Certificate of Accomplishment $99


Questions about the course?

Creating an ELF-Aware Classroom

About Katy:

Katy Simpson is an English language teacher, teacher trainer, and materials writer. She was a finalist in the 2017 ELTons, shortlisted for her website My English Voice. The site is a library of self-study pronunciation and listening resources featuring a range of accents from around the world, aimed at helping learners who use English internationally (as a Lingua Franca). Since completing her MA research in the field of English as a Lingua Franca in 2013, Katy has been working to bridge the gap between academia and classroom practice by sharing pronunciation materials on the teaching site she co-authors,

Katy is currently based in Japan where she teaches Business English and is involved in teacher training. She previously worked for the British Council in Thailand and Dubai, and for International House in the UK. She writes materials for Oxford University Press, has published articles about ELF (e.g. for One Stop English), and regularly presents on the topic (e.g. for the British Council’s Seminar Series). She is co-author of ELT Teacher 2 Writer’s forthcoming ebook, How to Write Pronunciation Activities.

This 4-week online iTDi Advanced Skills course will bring up to 100 teachers together in our user-friendly iTDi online classroom every Sunday, and then continue throughout the week, sharing, discussing and reflecting in a private but vibrant online community.

As a registered participant, don’t worry if you ever have to miss a class. You’ll receive weekly recordings of each class, full transcripts of the text chat during class, assigned readings and a PDF of the PowerPoint slides. Furthermore, the online community will certainly become a wealth of ideas and information, and it will remain private and online for your use anytime in the future.

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