CLA Core Course Series | EMSE3420/3421 Elementary, Middle and Secondary Education

Elementary, Middle and Secondary Education (EMSE) course is one of the elective courses for English major students at WKU, consisting of a lower level EMSE3420 and a higher level EMSE3421 course. This course is intended to provide students with an opportunity to master English learning theory and a platform to practice teaching and cultivate more talents in the education field. The lower-level course is about the explanation and the methodology of the teaching theories, while the higher-level course provides a platform for students to practice these theories. The combination of theory and practice is a critical feature for this course.

Currently, Professor Virginia Parker is the lecturer of the EMSE course. For Professor Parker, “teaching” is more than just theories practiced in classrooms, but a profession that she has dedicated to for years. Professor Parker has an extraordinary experience of working and staying in 8 countries before she came to China. Therefore, the EMSE course also introduces some insights into the education mode in other parts of the world. In that case, the EMSE course shows that teaching English is not merely about teaching students the language, but is also about broadening students’ horizons in light of the global education industry.

Virginia Parker in Thailand

Professor Virginia Parker introduces the developmental process of English education in the lower-level course of EMSE. Covering the four basic language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing), she introduces a variety of language teaching methods such as Grammar Translation, Communicative Language Teaching, and Content and Language Integrated Learning, some being classic, some cutting-edge. Students apply the theories they learn to the term project of lesson plans under the guidance of Professor Parker. In the higher-level course, students have the opportunity to engage in micro-teaching. Moreover, this course also offers extra-curricular activities, such as visiting local international education institutions, holding conversations with MA TESOL students, and having guest speakers share their experiences.


Teachers and students from the course visited Wenzhou No.22 High School

Students visited Wenzhou-Kean Kindergarten

Students from EMSE3421 communicate with TESOL students

The EMSE course has a different outlook compared with other teaching courses provided by traditional Chinese universities. This course is geared more towards international education institutions or departments that use international teaching methods. For the educator, this kind of education industry requires a higher level of professional background and teaching ability than the traditional education industry. At present, the EMSE course has in-depth cooperation with education institutions affiliated to Wenzhou-Kean University and local institutions in Wenzhou to provide professional skills development for our students.

In WKU, English in Global Settings is a highly flexible program of study that allows the student to use electives to prepare for a variety of future directions and join the group of leading new trends in the world. In addition to the field of education,it also includes other graduate study (in linguistics, literature, communication, journalism, law, etc.), publishing, or any variety of positions in corporations and international organizations requiring advanced communication skills.


Author | Tang Feng, Shang Haoyu

Proofreader | Xiang Bingling (Evangeline)