February 2024 - Using multilingual approaches

Find out what's happening across our TeachingEnglish channels in February 2024. We'll be focusing on the theme of 'Using multilingual approaches'. For teacher educators, the focus is 'Adopting inclusive practices'.

What's happening in February 2024?

This page gives you an overview of all the activity happening across our TeachingEnglish channels in February 2024.

For teachers this month, we'll be focusing on the theme of 'Using multilingual approaches'. For teacher educators, the focus is 'Adopting inclusive practices'. Below you'll find free online training courses, live webinars and other online events, podcast episodes and research - all related to these central themes.

In addition to our themed events and content, we also have hundreds of lesson plans and classroom resources. Below we've selected some lesson plans to help you engage students with topical issues and special United Nations days this month.

AwardOnline training courses

Our tutored course for the month is 'English in the multilingual classroom'. Live events and discussions related to this course are hosted in our Courses for teachers community on Facebook. Find out about 'English in the multilingual classroom' and all other courses open in February below.

English in the multilingual classroom - enrol before 26 February

This course will introduce you to multilingualism and what it means. You’ll learn how to make your classroom and teaching multilingual so that your learners can learn to celebrate and use many languages in the real world.

In this free online course, you will learn about the following:

- The benefits of multilingualism
- Multilingualism in practice
- Developing multilingual learners

Find out more and enrol on this free course

TeachingEnglish: Communication skills - enrol before 24 March 

Boost your learners' communication skills with engaging, practical dialogue activities for the classroom.

In this free online course, you will learn about the following:

- Introduction to dialogue
- Dialogue and active listening
- Dialogue and speaking up

Find out more and enrol on this free course

How to teach grammar - enrol before 25 March

Discover how to help your learners notice, make sense of, and become more confident using grammar with engaging, meaning-focused teaching. Learn about deductive and inductive approaches to grammar teaching, how to evaluate the best approach for your learners and identify contexts and tasks which encourage 'noticing'.

In this free online course, you will learn about the following:

-Understanding methods and approaches
-Engaging with grammar - noticing and restructuring
-Engaging with grammar - different approaches

Find out more and enrol on this free course

How to teach vocabulary - enrol before 24 March

Help your learners notice, record, recycle and use new vocabulary more confidently with engaging, classroom activities.

In this free online course, you will learn about the following:

-Understanding vocabulary
-Engaging with vocabulary - recording and recycling
-Engaging with vocabulary teaching

Find out more and enrol on this free course


Dialogue iconOnline events and webinars

See our free online events and webinars for teachers and teacher educators below.

Multilingual matters - mini-event  (15 February)

This event will feature four webinars with expert ELT teachers from around the world. All webinars will help English teachers think about how they nurture, support and celebrate multilingual learners in the classroom. The webinars are for teachers of primary, secondary and adult English language learners.

Schedule and speakers

13 - 14pm (UK time): A practical guide to connecting and creating genuine engagement with your multicultural learners (Amy Newsome, South Africa)
14.15 - 15.15pm (UK time): Using poetry to teach pronunciation and promote linguistic diversity (Victor Carreão, Brazil)
15.30  - 16.30pm (UK time): How to intentionally integrate intercultural competence as a learning outcome in your lessons (Amina Douidi, UK)
16.45 - 17.45pm (UK time): Challenges and benefits of teaching English to bilingual or multilingual children and teens (Suzanne Barron-Hauwaert, France)

13pm - 17.45pm (UK time)

Find out more and register for this online event.

How can teacher educators use the Community of Inquiry framework to support teacher learning? (29 February)

Please note the content of this webinar is not aimed at teachers, and is specifically for teacher educators who have a role in supporting the professional development of English language teachers.

Join us on 29 February for a webinar with Dr Norman Vaughan. The focus of this session is on the practical application of the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework to support teacher learning. The CoI was developed by Garrison, Anderson, and Archer (2000). The framework represents a process of creating deep and meaningful (collaborative-constructivist) learning experiences through the development of three interdependent elements: social, cognitive and teaching presence. Originally the CoI was designed for online learning environments but it is now widely applied to blended, in-person courses, and teaching development programs.

15 - 16pm (UK time)

Find out more and register for this online event

Facebook and Instagram Live events in February 2024

Join our online community of more than 4 million teachers worldwide. We will be hosting weekly events throughout February via our Facebook and Instagram channels.

These 30-minute 'live' sessions are a great opportunity for you to join teachers from around the world.

Engage with English language teaching experts and community members on a range of topics and themes to help you develop your teaching skills, and share ideas and questions with a vibrant global online community.

See what's happening in our community on Facebook 

See what's happening in our community on Instagram


Teaching iconFor the classroom

See a selection of lesson plans below that you can use to focus on United Nation Special Days in February in your language teaching classrooms.

Safer Internet Day (6 February)

Title of lesson plan: How the internet has changed our lives

Age group: Primary (9-11 years old)

Level: A2 and above 


The lesson starts with a brainstorming activity involving the whole class. Learners think about how they use the internet in their daily lives. Then they think about how children's lives would have been different before the internet was invented. They are encouraged to use used to and didn't use to to make comparisons between the past and the present.

Title of lesson plan: Fake news

Age group: Secondary

Level: B1 and above 


This lesson for older teenagers and adults at CEF level B1 and above looks at strategies for identifying fake news and fake websites.

Title of lesson plan: Stay safe on social media

Age group: Secondary

Level: B1 and above


In June 2013, the British Council's Social Media Team Child Protection team worked with CEOP to develop 5 Golden Rules to help parents and carers keep their children safe on social media. As this was a great success and was well appreciated, we would now like to continue this work. The aim of this lesson is to sensitise teenage students to the risks of social media and to raise their awareness of how to stay safe when using it.

International Day of Women and Girls in Science (11 February)

Title of lesson plan: Women and girls in science

Age group: Secondary

Level: B2 and above


February 11 is International Day of Women and Girls in Science. In this lesson, students read an article about some of the reasons why there are fewer girls and women interested in working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and what's happening to encourage equality in these fields. Students will have a chance to evaluate ways of doing this, as well as reading about alternative approaches. There are optional extension tasks at the end of the lesson.

International Mother Language Day (21 February)

Title of lesson plan: Benefits of being bilingual

Age group: Secondary

Level: B2 and above


This lesson was devised to celebrate International Mother Language Day on 21 February, which exists to promote awareness of linguistic diversity and multilingualism. The lesson begins with a few statements about bilingualism. The students decide if these are true or false and then read a text to check their ideas. Having discussed the topic of the text, the students move on to look at impersonal report structures.


Podcast iconPodcast episodes

See all our podcast episodes connected to February's themes below.

Teaching English podcast: How can I use different languages in my teaching?

Students’ home languages should be seen assets in the English language classroom – but all too often they are viewed as problematic and detrimental. In this episode, the writers of the British Council publication 'Using multilingual approaches: moving from theory to practice' share activities you can use in your classroom that celebrate the languages your students speak. Following these practical suggestions, academic and researcher Tony Capstick shares his insights into the value and importance of a multilingual approach to learning.

Listen to the episode and download the show notes


Read iconPublications, research, and insight

See all of our publications related to February's themes below.

Using multilingual approaches self-study booklet

This self-study guide for teachers and teacher educators looks at how to use multilingual approaches. It forms part of a series of self-study booklets, in which teachers and teacher educators will find useful theory and practice for teaching English effectively, including short case studies and professional development activities to do individually and with colleagues.

Using multilingual approaches self-study booklet

Using multilingual approaches - moving from theory to practice

This book aims to introduce important evidence relating to language learning in multilingual contexts and develop the practice of using multilingual approaches in the classroom. It has been especially designed to support teachers who teach English as a subject and for teachers who use English as the medium of instruction (EMI) in classrooms with students in linguistically diverse and often resource-poor communities.

Using multilingual approaches - moving from theory to practice

English Medium Education in a multilingual francophone context: Primary school learning in Cameroon

While there is a growing body of literature on the policy and practice implications of English Medium Education (EME) in multilingual Sub-Saharan Africa, there has been very little research on how primary school children in these contexts experience and navigate the curriculum in English. This study, funded in collaboration with the British Council, set out to document and understand the range of learning resources and strategies that multilingual Francophone children in Cameroon draw upon to access learning in the medium of English with a view to contributing to the discussions of good practice for young learner education in multilingual contexts where EME is promoted.

English Medium Education in a multilingual francophone context: Primary school learning in Cameroon

English language and medium of instruction in basic education in low- and middle-income countries

The British Council’s aim in writing this organisational position paper, English language and medium of instruction in basic education in low- and middle-income countries: a British Council perspective, is to use the ideas presented in our conversations with education ministries and to support those who teach English around the world. Our hope is that this paper will open up discussions on the role of English in multilingual education and be of practical help to policy makers and advisers, to project managers and implementers, and to English language teachers.

English language and medium of instruction in basic education in low- and middle-income countries

English for Specific Academic Purposes student partnerships across borders

Students coming to the UK frequently join their chosen university via a pre-sessional English language course, but organisers of such courses often struggle to find staff on campus in the summer months to provide the necessary content input. This paper presents an attempt to overcome this shortfall, describing two parallel English for Specific Academic Purpose telecollaboration projects between universities in Scotland and Gaza, one involving Engineering, the other Biomedical students. We outline how the projects were organised, offer our findings, and provide a set of guidelines that may encourage similar cross-continent link-ups between universities.

English for Specific Academic Purposes student partnerships across borders

Using e-learning to develop intercultural awareness in ELT: a critical evaluation in a Thai higher education setting

This research paper, by Will Baker, reports on a study conducted in Thailand into the development of an online course in intercultural awareness and communication. The findings of this study demonstrate generally positive responses both to the course contents and the online delivery. Both e-learning and the cultural dimension of ELT have grown in prominence.

Using e-learning to develop intercultural awareness in ELT: a critical evaluation in a Thai higher education setting

Download the infographic below and pin it in your staffroom.

Research and insight

Browse fascinating case studies, research papers, publications and books by researchers and ELT experts from around the world.

See our publications, research and insight