oral communicative tasks

in online language teaching

spring schedule: february 6 – march 3

Oral Communicative Tasks in Online Language Teaching is a fully online course designed for experienced university-level language instructors (e.g. instructors who have developed and taught an online course at least once, or have participated in our Introduction to Online Language Teaching). During the four weeks, participants will:

  • Identify best practices for how to execute both synchronous and asynchronous oral communicative presentational and interpersonal language tasks
  • Develop scaffolded, incremental task progressions and assessments in order fully meet course language objectives
  • Develop a plan for connecting with the Target Language Community online

The online nature of the course 一 and the combination of both asynchronous and synchronous components 一 exposes participants to all of the affordances and constraints of an online environment for oral communicative tasks in language teaching and learning. 

How can the development of speaking skills be promoted in a synchronous or asynchronous online environment? What should our expectations for proficiency outcomes be? Participants will review and engage with sample oral communicative tasks, provide suggestions for improvements, and will create tasks to meet selected learning objectives in the presentational and interpersonal mode of communication.  Participants will receive feedback from the instructor and, by the end of the course, will have developed a principled plan for meeting and assessing oral proficiency learning objectives in rigorous fashion.

Course Details

  • Length: 4 weeks
  • Expected workload: 5-7 hours of asynchronous work per week + one live session per course (not required)
  • Small, seminar-style cohort-focused curriculum similar to what you’d find in a graduate course, with extensive and personalized instructor feedback and interaction
  • Learning Platform: D2L (MSU’s Learning Management System)
  • No required materials other than those provided within the learning platform
  • Technology Requirements: computer with stable internet connection; webcam and microphone; mobile device (recommended)
  • Not for credit; a certificate will be provided to participants upon successful completion of the course.
  • Please note: we reserve the right to cancel or postpone a course session if the minimum enrollment number is not met.

Course outline

  • Week 1: Models for Bichronous Online TBLT
  • Week 2: Interpersonal Mode and Synchronous Teaching Tasks
  • Week 3: Presentational Mode and Asynchronous Teaching Tasks
  • Week 4: Putting It All Together

spring 2023 SCHEDULE

  • Application Deadline: January 23, 2023
  • Session Dates: February 6 – March 3, 2023
  • Instructor: Austin Kaufmann (learn more about the instructors on our faculty page)


While the course is designed for higher education professionals, language educators from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. 

 Because space is very limited, participants will be selected based on several factors, including the strength of their application. Special consideration will be given to LCTL instructors who apply. Applicants will submit their application through the portal, where they will need to upload:

  • a resume
  • a cover letter discussing their interest in online language teaching and familiarity with learning technologies, detailing how taking this course will impact their career and their program/institution, and committing to the workload noted in each course description (see links below)

We encourage you to apply for more than one course, but please note we will try to accommodate as many applicants as possible.