Monday 6 May 2013

Pros and Cons of Teaching Content Courses

Some teachers think that teaching content / subject courses is much better than teaching the 4 skills and in fact look down on those who teach the 4 skills. There are a variety of content courses out there.
  • They can be extensions of English courses, such as presentation or academic writing.
  • They can be subjects within the students' normal classes, such as math or science.
  • They can English for Specific Purposes, like Aviation English. 
There are advantages and disadvantages to teaching these types of courses. Many schools, from elementary to university are trying to teach subject courses in English to up their ratings. Let's assume that these courses are taught be a native or near-native English speaker and not a local teacher who barely speaks English but is required to teach in English so just stumbles over the words as they read from the textbook.

  • More rewarding for the teacher and the students.
  • Students may be more motivated.
  • Teachers might get higher evals if the students have a high level of English.
  • Teachers can use a higher level of English in these types of courses.
  • More work for the teacher.
  • May be too difficult for the student.
  • Teachers might get lower evals if it's a required course but the English is too high for the students.
  • Students might feel resentful because they are trying to learn about their major and not English. They also might be required to buy two books: one in English and a translation.


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