Academic Program and Cultural Activities

Description of Program’s Courses and Activities

We have planned a rich experience for PDPI teachers, including courses to bring you up-to-date on language teaching and assessment methods with relevant technology tools. You will also participate in courses and projects to improve your English language skills while learning about American social and education cultures. You will do this by not only attending these courses, but also by participating in many activities, workshops, and a mini-conference designed to help you practice and consolidate the learning gained in these courses. Below you will find a brief introduction to the courses and activities.

American Culture: Listening, Speaking, and Pronunciation

In this course, PDPI teachers will learn about American history and culture while improving their aural/oral skills. The course will use a content-based approach to English language learning with the content being American culture and history. Through this approach, you will learn about the US, its history, society, values, and customs as content knowledge while improving your listening and speaking skills as well as your pronunciation. Additionally, you will experience first-hand this content-based language teaching method that is uncommon outside US, Canada, and Europe.

TEFL — Methods and Materials

This Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course will focus on a variety of methods and materials that can be used to teach English and will include how to best integrate technology into language classes. It will survey current methods and best practices in the teaching of English skills and provide opportunities for the participants to develop materials and lesson plans based on the teaching principles presented and discussed in class.

TEFL — Assessment and Evaluation

The course will provide an overview of principles, best practices, and issues involved in the testing of English skills in the classroom. Participants will have an opportunity to develop assessment instruments related to the materials that they are developing in their Methods and Materials course.

Independent Study Project and Mini-Conference

Additionally, PDPI teachers will have opportunities to work on independent projects related to teaching and evaluating English skills. You will share your projects at a mini-conference to be held at the end of the program. The purpose of the independent projects is to provide opportunities for you to apply what you have learned to the creation of activities and lesson plans (in other words, connect theory to practice).  At the end of the Program we will hold a PDPI Mini-Conference where participants will be able to showcase their study project in front of their fellow students and


We also plan to have each PDPI teacher attend two hands-on workshops, one in Week 3 and the other in Week 5. The workshops will be about two-three hours in length. We are hoping that you will have several workshops to select from in both weeks. Some specific topics include Communicative grammar; Vocabulary teaching strategies and activities; Pronunciation teaching strategies; Technology assisted language teaching/learning and assessment; and Project-based language teaching/learning. The workshop presenters will be IEOP instructors as well as members in our Applied Linguistics and Technology/TESL and other programs at Iowa State University.

Classroom Observations and Service Learning

We plan to arrange observations of English as a Second Language (ESL) Listening and Speaking classes, ESL Reading/Writing courses, and foreign language classes for PDPI teacher so they may see how these courses are taught in U.S.A. To satisfy the Service Learning component, participants will be helping at Food at First. Food at First is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing meals to anyone who is hungry, no questions asked. FAF serves a hot meal every day of the year.

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