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Purposeful, Interactive World Language Teaching Course

What kind of course is this?

This is a course on classroom teaching methodology focusing on teaching world languages in the US; it is NOT an SLA course and it is NOT a second language teaching methods course, i.e., it is not a course for teachers of a world language in the country in which the language is spoken.

This course is free and open to the public. However, if you would like to make a donation to support scholarship funding for students at The Ohio State University to study abroad, please click the support link at the bottom of this page.


Who is this course for?

This course is primarily for new instructors at the high school and university level. It is based in large part on my perspectives on world language teaching and classroom practices, so those with different approaches may enjoy hearing about hers.

There is something for instructors of any language in this course. The examples are in English, Italian, French and Spanish (with translations in English of the non-English examples). 


This course is for instructors who:

  • wish to teach exclusively in the target language;
  • want a student-centered rather than teacher-centered classroom;
  • believe that purposeful and meaningful interaction is essential for learning/acquisition to occur;
  • want their students to cognitively engage with the material;
  • want to create a learning environment in which students feel comfortable interacting with the instructor and their peers.
  • want satisfaction from developing creative and pedagogically effective techniques and materials.

This is a free, open-access course so anyone can access it at any time. Instructors are free to use any part(s) that they like in their own courses or individuals can use it for their own interest. I have designed this course with as much flexibility as possible.


If any parts of this course are are being used as teaching material in another course elsewhere, the participant is asked to cut-and-paste his/her answers to reflection questions into an email to send to the instructor. A few reflection responses can only be evaluated by a participant's instructor, but in most cases the participant sees my responses and/or a set of responses from other participants after submitting his/her responses.


How is this course organized?

This course has two major sections, each of which is divided into topics/modules.

The first half of the course focuses on the background knowledge necessary for classroom world language teaching, and there are five modules covering:

  1. Fundamental theories, concepts and frameworks in SLA
  2. A brief overview of a selection of FL teaching methodologies
  3. Profiles of learners and instructors
  4. Lesson planning
  5. Classroom management (Common problems and sound advice)
  6. Instructional guidelines (ACTFL and The Common European Framework)


The second half of the course focuses on teaching in the classroom and covers the following topics:

  1. Teaching vocabulary in the classroom: A purposeful, interactive approach
  2. Teaching grammar in the classroom: A purposeful, interactive approach
  3. Creating grammar practice activities: From input to output
  4. Developing reading and listening skills


Course Progression

Users are free to access any module in any order that they like or need, but there is a conceptual order to the course. If taken out of order, there may be concepts covered in earlier modules that are unfamiliar to the user. The instructor has tried to mention with the course video lectures each time she refers to a concept covered in a different module.

Target Audience: foreign language teachers.


About the Instructor

Janice M. Aski is professor and director of the Italian language program. She specializes in foreign language pedagogy and historical Italian/Romance linguistics. Dr. Aski is co-author of the first-year Italian textbook, Avanti!, and the Italian historical linguistics monograph, Iconicity and analogy in language change. She has published numerous articles in both of her areas of expertise, and is the recipient of three prestigious teaching awards at OSU.