B-MELTT Blending MOOCs into English Language Teacher Training

B-MELTT Blending MOOCs into English Language Teacher Training

China / Netherlands / United Kingdom

Project Overview

This innovative OIL project aims to explore how the integration of existing MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) into programmes in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) can impact on trainee teachers’ beliefs on learner autonomy while at the same time providing them the opportunity to engage with a global ELT community of practice.

The project involves UG and PG students from the UK, the Netherlands and China.

It implements and evaluates an innovative way of blending face to face teaching with distance training through MOOCs that cover topics similar to those covered in the relevant programmes in each country.

OIL Outcomes

The project aims to ascertain how teachers’ beliefs can be affected by a meta-reflection on their knowledge and practice carried out in three ways:

  1. individually while doing the MOOC,
  2. collaboratively in targeted weekly online meetings with peers who are participating in the project with them;
  3. collaboratively with the rest of the participants from all over the world on the MOOC.

OIL Activities

Futurelearn course weeks 1-4; Content/online tasks relating to:
• Learning Language: Theory (week one);
• Language Teaching in the Classroom (week two);
• Technology in Language Learning and Teaching: A New Environment (week three),
• Language in Use: Global English (week 4).
Then reflection on activities in Moodle (dedicated area)

Project Outputs

In line with institutional priorities in the three institutions involved, that are also shared across the HE sector both in the UK and overseas, this project addresses various key themes, such as the internationalisation of the curriculum, the development of critical intercultural and digital competences and of employability, as it aims to prepare future teachers of English to cope with innovative and possibly disruptive ways of learning and teaching in multi-modal ways on global platforms.

The research objectives of the project are that, by registering on the MOOC and engaging in meta-reflection on this experience, trainee teachers would be able to:

  • Study the topics on the MOOC, compare them with similar topics covered in class, discuss their reflections on said topics on a weekly basis and collaborate to evaluate this innovative learning experience in a new ‘meta-blended’ mode;
  • Explore how learning with a new blended learning model that includes a MOOC impacts on their Continuous Professional Development as language teachers;
  • Carry out a collaborative cross-continental reflective evaluation of the experience in order to devise recommendations for teaching and learning in other HEIs as a ‘MOOC community of practice (in Etienne Wenger’s terms, 2006);
  • Enhance their understanding of the topics covered on their university course, with particular reference to the exploration of the troublesome concept of autonomy in language learning and teaching, through collaborative online reflection on a global scale.


Rachel Collins from the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, and Bin Zou from Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) are leading the project at their respective institutions.