Tuesday, July 11, 2006

What English Language Teachers Want to Know

The Problem

When a group of English as a foreign language teachers was surveyed as to what Tepic areas most interested them a surprising variety of Topic areas emerged. As with a growing number of ELT professionals, there is a continuing need for training and development. Many teachers, though wanting to grow their current boundaries, have neither the time, interest or resources to pursue a higher degree or effect a full return to formal education. The answer, in part, may well be foe savvy administrators to schedule a series of well-planned, in-depth English Teacher training workshops and seminars beyond what may be available locally or regionally from such organizations as TESOL, IATEFL, ASOCOPI, the British Council and others.

The Topics

Here are key teacher training topics which consistently emerge as preferred areas of interst for progressive educators.

• Short Class Activities

• Using Drama

• EFL Learning Games

• Vocabulary Development Techniques

• Listening Comprehension

• Using Short Stories

• Giving Presentations

• Creating Materials

• Using Art & Pictures

• EFL Teacher Certification

• Using Songs

• Writing Skills

Need for INSET

Each area is pertinent in its own right and care should be taken to provide an extensive variety of themes in any program of INSET (In-service training) that well-meaning administrators may undertake.

As standards for ELT develop and improve worldwide, increasing pressure on tenured teachers will cause a growing need for in-house teacher training programs that introduce new techniques and English language teaching concepts, update English teachers on new language acquisition theories and reinforce sound language teaching practice.

Additional Topics of Interest

Some additional topics of interst to a lesser, but more experienced group of English language teachers were these areas:

Learning Disabilities

Virtual EFL Teaching

Preparing Evaluations

Reading Comprehension

Training Program Providers

Local universities may have programs or experienced, Teacher Trainers available. Nacional and regional teacher organizations may also be called upon to offer recommendations for INSET programs and materials.

The Internet, TEFL websites like tefl.com, eslbase.com and others are also good sources for locating programs, materials and Language Training Consultants who can provide hended input for teacher development initiatives.

Finally, a stepped-up program of technical reading, ELT online forum participation and in-house discussions can likewise be of aid in upgrading the level of English teacher interest and involvement in advanced training in ELT topics. Magazines like:

· Technology & Learning (www.techlearning.com)

· English Teaching Professional (http://www.etprofessional.com/)

· English Language Teaching Forum (http://www.eltforum.com/)

· ESL Magazine (http://www.eslmag.com/)

· Internet TESL Journal (http://iteslj.org/)

· Its-teachers (http://www.its-teachers.com/)

· Modern Englishn Teacher online (http://www.onlinemet.com/)

· Oxford ELT Journal (http://www.oxfordjournals.org/eltj/)

Use these numerous options to assist you in planning your personal improvement program. They can also provide guidance for the establishment of a departmental or faculty development series of English language teacher training workshops, seminars and training sessions.

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