How to find out your ESL students' needs.

Get questionnaires, surveys and techniques to help your students learn more English in your classes, faster.
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  • Lectures 21
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 10/2014 English

Course Description

Do you teach EFL, ESL or another foreign language? Is what you do in your classroom based on information you got from your students? A lot of teacher preparation courses tell you to find out your ESL students' needs but they don't go into any depth and show you what kinds of information you can collect and how to collect it.

What are we going to do? In this course we're going to look at how you can find out your ESL students' needs, for example student motivation, student beliefs about language and language learning, student learning styles and student language proficiency. We will also review different techniques for collecting data including collecting pre-course information through analyzing documents and collegiality, and in-course data collection through techniques such as professional intuition, questionnaires and surveys. With more information about our students we can design better lessons and better activities, and, importantly, we can justify what we do in class. We want our lessons to be as efficient as possible so our students improve their English proficiency faster.

"A liberating course for ESL teachers and their students." - Jonathan Huie

"An excellent and comprehensive course." - Carl Jones

Who is this course for? This course is part of a series aimed at teachers in general but there is a lot of help here for language teachers. This course is ALSO designed for non-native teachers of English who are doing such a great job in their classrooms around the world.

How are we going to do this? We'll work through a series of video lectures. You don't have to follow the order but it's best to view all of them at least once. These short video lectures have PDF questionnaires and surveys that you can download and use immediately in your classes to get you started. There is also a PDF transcript for each lecture for <strong>non-native English teachers</strong>.

Section 1: Introduction: Why do we need to collect information?

Section 2: Different types of information

  • Beliefs about language and learning
  • Types of Motivation
  • Learning styles
  • Language learning needs

Section 3: Different techniques for getting information

  • Collecting information before the first class
  • Collecting information during and after the first class

Section 4: Putting it all together

  • Tips on collecting information
  • Potential problems and how to avoid or resolve them
  • What next?


If you have any questions during the course you can always contact me. See you in the next lecture!

What are the requirements?

  • Recommended: At least one year EFL or ESL teaching experience
  • Native or near-native English ability.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • describe your students as EFL or ESL learners in detail.
  • recognize different motivations, learning styles, beliefs about language and learning and different levels of English proficiency.
  • solve possible problems in collecting information about your students.
  • download and use 8 different questionnaires and surveys to collect information on your students learning needs right away.

Who is the target audience?

  • Teachers of English as a Foreign or Second Language
  • Non-native teachers of English as a Foreign or Second Language

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Hi! We don't want to just teach our students. We want to help the learn. One great way of doing this is by collecting information on what they need. Please take this short survey so I can also find out what YOU need to learn too! Thanks!

Why is it so important to learn about our students' motivation, learning styles, beliefs, and proficiency? What are the benefits of a fuller description of each student?


What experience do I have that I can share with you to help your students learn more English in your classes?


It's a lot of extra work. So what are the benefits of collecting information on your students' needs?


What are the course aims, basic requirements and course outline?

Conclusion and take-away tips
1 question

This is a quick multi-choice quiz to check your learning

Section 1: Different types of information

This lecture looks in detail at four main areas of student belief that impact how they learn languages. Don't forget to download the student beliefs questionnaire to discover right away what your students believe about English as a foreign language, language learning and language teaching.

3 questions

A quick check of your learning about student beliefs.


Student motivation is 50% of the challenge in teaching. This lecture looks at different types of motivation in our students and includes a useful questionnaire you can download and use right away.

6 questions

These questions check your understanding of the content in the lecture on student motivation.


It's controversial, but IMHO different people learn in different ways. This lecture describes some of the more common preferred learning styles and includes a useful questionnaire to help you find out how you and your students prefer to learn.

1 question

This quiz focuses on your understanding of the content of the lecture on learning styles.


This lecture looks at language learning needs including the four skills and the four systems.


A quick review of this section and take-away tips.

Section 2: Eleven different ways to collect information

In this lecture we look at common sense techniques for finding out about your students' needs before you actually get into the classroom with them.


Here are links through to two online diagnostic grammar tests and one PDF diagnostic grammar test that you will find very helpful.


This lecture looks at different techniques for collecting information including some controversial ways of finding out about your students' needs.

1 question

This quiz checks your understanding of the lecture on how to collect information.


A quick review of techniques we can use to collect information and some take-away tips.

Section 3: Putting it all together

Five stand-out tips to remember when you start to collect information on your students' needs.

Tips on collecting information
1 question

Five pointers to help you prevent or solve any problems you might have collecting information.


Seven great ideas on what to do after you collect all this great new information about your students.

Hi! Please take this quick survey and let me know how you think this course can be improved! Thanks!

Review five important tips on how to collect information on your students, five tips on how to avoid or resolve potential issues with collecting information and seven great ways to use the new information.

Section 4: Conclusion

A review of the course and take-away tips.

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Instructor Biography

Giles Parker, English teacher and teacher trainer

Hi! My name's Giles Parker. By way of a brief resume, I'm a dynamic EFL and ESL classroom teacher, a CELTA-qualified teacher-trainer, and an academic manager - which is like herding cats. I have 28 years teaching, training and managing experience in the UK, Asia, the USA, and now Italy, where I am based. I have published and presented research on ways teachers can improve ESL/EFL learning in a variety of forums. I developed an innovative teacher-training program for a large-scale client in the fast-food industry in the USA and led a development team to create revolutionary entrance exams at a major Japanese university during the 1990's. I was also repeatedly invited as a teacher-trainer for large-scale regional faculty development in Japan. I managed the expansion of a major (and to my mind still the best) online EFL teacher-training program in USA and guided the growth of CELTA training program there. I also managed and trained the great staff for a leading community college ESL lab - more cats!

In the EFL/ESL world it is important to have a couple of specialisms and I guess mine are focused on developing learner autonomy and learner-centered active learning strategies. I especially love the day-to-day teaching of academic composition and academic presentation for EFL and ESL students who usually have such low expectations at first but who are blown away when their writing dramatically improves, as it usually does. Another passion I have is for training and mentoring new EFL and ESL teachers. It is great to watch new teachers create better and better lessons for their students. Lastly, I really like representing the needs of ESL students to the wider community - there is a lot of misunderstanding out there. I hope this gives you a bit an insight into my background. Please let me know if you have any questions and I look forward to working with you in my courses.



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