Monthly Archives: November 2009

Continuous Professional Development in the ELT sector

Rod Bolitho, Academic Director of Norwich Institute for Language Education (NILE), tells us that the teaching profession is not a static profession and as such, teachers need to continually develop.  

He also reminds us that development can only come from within an individual – teachers cannot be forced to develop, but they can be exposed to development opportunities. 

Rod goes on to say that INSETT (in-service teacher training) and CPD (continuous professional development) are not synonymous.  Teacher training is one route that teachers can take to help themselves develop, but there are other ways, such as gaining new qualifications, becoming involved in projects and materials development, mentoring and buddy systems, membership of teaching associations, classroom observations and feedback and autonomous research. 

How do your schools and institutes ensure that teachers have access to the latest skills and knowledge in the ELT sector?  How is their learning recognised and rewarded?

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How many years of pre-service training?

Prof.  Siddiqui, Chair of the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE)talked about the development of new curriculum framework for teacher education in India that he hopes will be implemented nation wide over the next 3 to 4 years.
He says pre-service, in-service and professsional development of teachers must be considered as a continuum of teacher education.
He says there has been a shift towards a more constructivist approach to learning. He recognises a need to enhance language competence and a need to give space for teachers to become reflective practitioners.
Professor Siddiqui recommends a 2 years post graduation teacher training programme, or 4- 5 years for school leavers (after plus 2).
How many years pre-service training do you think teachers need?

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How to manage educational change

Dr Martin Wedell, Senior Lecturer, University of Leeds presented a session around planning for change in education.

He said that we are better at planning for change than seeing change in practice.

He also said change is unlikely to be identically implemented and that ultimately it is what teachers do in classrooms that determines what changes have taken place.

The neglect of how people actually experience change as distinct from how it might have been intended is at the heart of the spectacular failure of most social  and educational change policies.

Transition is a complex process – changing teachers to facilitators – we often think that training will take care of that. But it is also a matter of systemic support  – both visible and invisible.

Societal expectations and assessment systems must also change as well as the teachers and their teaching to ensure successful change processes.

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How long do we have?

Three things I heard yesterday.

1.  Colombia’s National Bilingual Programme is a 16 – year programme and started 11 years after a new language policy was enacted.

2.  China is engaged in a 40-year language programme.

3. The UK Education acts of 1911 and 1918 which liberalised curriculum did not translate into progressive practice in the classroom until the 1960s.

What about India?

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Don’t miss Manish Sabharwal’s power of rhetoric

In this session, one of the highlights of the two-day policy dialogue, Manish Sabharwal casually steers us  down an enchanted river of  laid back eloquence ,  deftly pointing out some big ideas along the way. 

It’s a mesmirising  speech on ‘Skills for Employablity’.  Catch it here:

http://www.britishcouncil.org.in/efponline/sessions/19_3.html

Analogies like:  Cambrian explosions, ovarian lotteries;  thought worlds, policy orphans,; good is NOT the enemy of the great, bad is better than nothing.

What are your thoughts?

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What are employability skills?

Stephen Jenner, Deputy Head Corporate Training, British Council India, poses this question as one of the parallel speakers for the Session ‘Meeting the Recruitment Challenge’.

Stephen stresses the need for a global benchmarking tool and suggests the CEF, or rather ‘CF’ as it is more commonly being referred to.

Stephen summarises the BPO recruiter’s daily challenge:
1. I need people with good English, but what does that mean?
2. What exactly are the communication skills I need for this specific process?
3. What do I do with borderliners?
4. How do I transform new recruits into first class employees?

We would love to hear your ideas, suggestions and answers to these questions! Keep your comments coming in…

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CEF in the BPO industry

Stephen Jenner, Deputy Head Corporate Training, British Council raised a number of issues and challenges which BPO recruiters face on a daily basis.

Stephen showed how the British Council has used the CEF, a global language benchmark, as a tool to help overcome some of the challenges.

We’d be interested in hearing of any other companies who have used the CEF in areas of recruitment and language training.

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