English Language for STEM MOOC

American Spaces and their patrons can participate in the English for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics MOOC through the University of Pennsylvania and Coursera.

This course is designed for non-native English speakers who are interested in improving their English skills in the sciences. In this course, learners will explore some of the most innovative areas of scientific study, while expanding their vocabulary and the language skills needed to share scientific information within their communities. In unit 1, participants will learn how the scientific method can be used to explore climate change. In unit 2, they will examine research on alternative energy sources. The next unit in the course will focus on the impact of climate change, while unit 4 will explore the applications of nanotechnology. In the final unit of the course, participants will demonstrate their increased understanding of STEM topics through a culminating final project on a science experiment of his or her choice.

A facilitated course will begin October 16, 2017. All prospective learners can enroll in the course here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If participants try to enroll in the English for STEM course and see a screen that requires them to pay, please have them go back to the Enroll Now Page: https://www.coursera.org/learn/stem

Next, direct them to click on the fine blue type that says “enroll without a certificate.”  The direct link to this screen is here: https://www.coursera.org/learn/stem#pricing

Then, direct them to click on the “no certificate” option. Once they do this, they will be enrolled in the course.  For questions, contact Ae_moocs@state.gov.

Here is some important key information about the MOOC that is useful in promoting it (see promotional materials below):

  • The MOOCs are designed by experts at the University of Pennsylvania English Language Programs and are offered on Coursera.
  • The MOOCs are designed for learners at pre-intermediate and intermediate levels who will be able to choose two different tracks to match their skill level.
  • The facilitated MOOC camp sessions for both MOOCs begin April 3rd, but will stay open indefinitely for self-paced study after the first facilitated session.
  • All materials in the MOOCs are 100% open source and may be modified, re-used, and re-distributed for any purpose whatsoever (even commercial).
  • We recommend that teachers use the MOOC content in their classes by either enrolling their students in the course or using the materials for their own lessons.
  • Please read “certificate options” below for information on certificates.
  • The MOOC experience will be gamified, meaning that participants will be able to “play” as they learn, making the experience much more enjoyable.
  • This is one of five MOOCs for specific English learning purposes. The others are English for:
    • Business and Entrepreneurship
    • Media Literacy
    • Career Development
    • Journalism
  • Facilitators can receive extra help with facilitation support by contacting the MOOC-WG@state.gov email address.

Here is a link to the AE MOOCs page on the ECA website with key dates of the facilitated sessions:


The MOOC will be promoted on the ECA/A/L Facebook pages, americanenglish.state.gov and the main ECA webpage. If you promote the MOOC via Twitter, please use the following hashtag: #AEMOOCs.

Certificate Options:

  1. Participant enrolls for free and does not choose the “certificate” option.  They will automatically earn a Statement of Accomplishment upon course completion directly from UPENN that is downloadable.
  2. Participant enrolls for free AND participates in a MOOC camp.  They will automatically earn a Statement of Accomplishment upon course completion directly from PENN AND if Post would like to, they may also print MOOC Camp Certificates from the SharePoint site (http://eca.r.state.sbu/Policy/Tech@ECA/MOOC/default.aspx) – you could also coordinate with the MOOC-WG.  (MOOC-WG@state.gov)
  3. Participant applies for financial aid – https://www.coursera.org/payments/finaid?cartId=7462656  and when approved, will obtain a free, verified certificate from Coursera.
  4. Participant can pay the U.S. $49 to have the verified certificate using the payment options specified on the registration page.
  5. If participants are participating in a Department of State-sponsored MOOC Camp, then they can be eligible for a free verified certificate issued by Coursera. Please contact ae_moocs@state.gov directly for this option.

Promotional materials:

Facilitator Guide

MOOC Poster

Editable MOOC poster

STEM Flyer

STEM social media graphic