Bringing Grammar and Vocabulary Alive in the Teenage Classroom


Vocabulary and grammar are the building blocks of any language, but because they’re often presented and taught in less than inspirational ways, they’re considered ‘boring’ by teenage students. This course aims to change all that. By focusing on simple, but highly effective ways to bring both alive in lessons, it aims to excite teachers about teaching grammar and vocabulary. Teachers will consider strategies and techniques to present, practise and review the effective and motivational teaching of grammar and vocabulary and will leave the course with a full ‘tool-box’ to use in their classrooms.

The five sessions will address the roles of teachers and students in the Secondary classroom, and emphasise practical ideas, activities, and projects for grammar and vocabulary development, as well as reflection on their suitability. The input will equip teachers with skills, methods like Task-based Learning (TBL) and model activities that will support them in making their language lessons meaningful and relevant for teenage learners.

Course Objectives

During this course teachers will:

  • identify strategies for putting teenagers at the heart of their learning
  • address what it means to teach vocabulary and grammar effectively
  • develop a tool-box of activities and techniques to motivate teenage learners
  • explore how task-based learning and gamification can support language acquisition

Programme details

Course structure:

The summer course comprises an introductory session and five content modules delivered over a three-week period.

There will be two live tutor-led interactive workshops each week, as well as a number of engaging asynchronous tasks that you complete in your own time.

The asynchronous part of your course will allow you and your fellow participants to extend the learning from the live sessions. Typically, this will include follow up quizzes, extra readings and materials. You will also benefit from opportunities to discuss aspects of each session with your peers in pairs and in small groups, allowing you to reflect on how you might tailor the content of each session to your own teaching context. 

We expect you to devote at least 5 hours each week to your course. Outside the scheduled live sessions, you can study at times that are most convenient for you.

We have capped class sizes at 25 students to maximise opportunities for interaction. 


During your two weekly live workshops, you will be expected to participate actively in discussions and exchanges with your tutor and fellow participants. You will be encouraged to continue your discussions through additional online interaction throughout your course.

The first day of your course will begin with an introductory session to introduce you to the structure, expectations, and goals of an Oxford Teachers' Academy course. You then follow a series of five modules over three weeks.

All times are UK time (UTC+1).

Introductory Session - Monday 06 July 1pm 

Module 1: Student-Centred Learning - Thursday 09 July 1pm 

  • Teacher and Student Roles
  • Discuss the application of a student-centred approach
  • Consider some practical strategies

Module 2: Vocabulary: More than Words - Monday 13 July 1pm

  • What does it mean to know a word?
  • Memory and Lexis
  • Presenting and practicing vocabulary

Module 3: Making Grammar Memorable - Thursday 16 July 1pm

  • Retention and retrieval – why learners have difficulty remembering grammar
  • How grammar is practised
  • Focusing on meaning and form

Module 4: Task-based Learning- Monday 20 July 1pm

  • Identify the characteristics of Task-Based Learning
  • Explore why TBL is well suited to teenage language learners
  • Define a task, and provide hands-on practice in designing classroom tasks

Module 5: Challenges and Rewards: Gamifying Learning - Thursday 23 July 1pm

  • Defining gamification
  • Creating competition – levels, rewards and leader-boards
  • Making learning social



Oxford Teachers’ Academy courses are certified by the Department for Continuing Education. In order to receive a Certificate of Completion, course participants must submit an Evidence of Learning Journal  which will be evaluated against established criteria. If all criteria are met, participants will receive an electronic Certificate of Completion within six weeks of submitting their journals.

You will also receive a University of Oxford Certificate of Attendance on successful completion of each OTA online summer course.


Description Costs
06-24 July: Bringing Grammar and Vocabulary Alive £280.00


The Department is, unfortunately, unable to offer any scholarships or reduction in fees for the Oxford Teachers’ Academy online courses at present.


Charlotte Rance


Charlotte Rance is a teacher trainer, author and educational consultant. She has worked in the English language teaching industry for almost two decades, and specialises in working with young learners and teenagers. Charlotte has worked in numerous countries around the world, and has spoken at a wide range of institutions and international conferences. Her priority as a trainer is to provide practical advice and suggest a range of effective strategies that teachers can successfully adapt and implement in their own teaching contexts.


Please click on 'Book Now' to reserve a place.

Subject to the availability of places, the closing date is 12pm on Friday 03 July 2020.

Further course information notes will be emailed to participants shortly before the start of the summer school.

Any queries?

Please contact the Programme Administrator by email at

Level and demands

It is expected that participants will have some experience of teaching English language.

This course is intended for secondary school teachers.

All participants must speak English to a minimum of a high B2 CEFR level of proficiency.

IT requirements

This programme is delivered online. To participate you must to be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet. You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification.