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What is Udemy? is an online learning platform with headquarters in San Francisco, and offices in Ankara and Dublin. It offers free and paid-for courses in a very wide range of subject areas. Typically, a course will consist of a series of short video lectures, divided into a number of different sections. Users of the site search for the type of course that interests them and, once they arrive at the course landing page, are able to access detailed information on the course goals and the tutor’s background - as well as sampling one or two of the lectures, before committing to the course. For more information, please click here to visit the Udemy site.

Udemy: how I got involved

After A Handbook of Spoken Grammar and the Oxford Grammar for EAP - both of them self-study print books aimed at students - were published, I decided I would like to work again in the same two areas, which I was still researching, but this time producing something for classroom teachers, and with completely new material.

It occurred to me, however, when I began to write for teachers, that what I actually wanted to do was talk to them instead, as colleagues, much as I do at conferences. That’s when I got the idea of producing online ELT courses rather than books. So I began to look around for the kind of platform that was offering not only high-tech courses with state-of-the-art graphics, but also lower-tech versions where tutors were simply sharing their knowledge with participants, showing slides and offering additional resources such as handouts and revision tests. Udemy seemed to fit the bill.

How the Udemy courses work

What I do in both forthcoming courses is to talk teachers through a series of grammar lesson plans, giving a step-by-step guide on how to teach a particular item of grammar in the classroom. All of the material will be provided on the accompanying slides, which can be downloaded as text at the end of each lecture, allowing teachers to use it as they want: copying it onto a whiteboard, editing it as required, printing it out for students, or displaying it via computer - whatever suits their own teaching circumstances.

The two courses

1. Spoken Grammar: a Guide for English Language Teachers

This first course is for English language teachers who are interested in introducing their students to ‘spoken grammar’ - aspects of grammar that are typical in natural conversation, but are often not covered in traditional teaching materials - ‘vague category phrases’, for example: ‘Shall we go for a walk or something?

Please click on one of the following options for more information:

the promo video for the course on YouTube

the course description on the Udemy website 

the concept of spoken grammar

a brief description of the course

a review of the course (on page 40) of the January/February 2019 edition of EL Gazette

2. Grammar for Business Essays: a Guide for English Language Teachers

This second course is for teachers who are aiming to improve the grammar of students writing essays on Business and Management courses at college or university. 12 key grammatical areas are covered - all within a business context - including passives, noun phrases, relative clauses, and the language of cause and effect.

Please click on one of the following options for more information:

the course description on the Udemy website (forthcoming)

the concept of academic grammar

a brief description of the course