The aim of this article is to discuss the validity and need for Teacher Training in our context.
It goes without saying that financial as well as social changes have affected our lives and the lives of our children.
Unavoidably, such changes affect the criteria which define who is a professional and who is not.
It is very important to highlight from the beginning that teacher training is needed for anybody who wishes to become a professional language teacher no matter his/her academic background or degree.
In other words the art of teaching a language is very different to knowing the literature of the specific country or being a proficient user of the target language. It is a science with very different applications.
According to various rumors out in the market, teachers (and all other professions) will need to go through formal training and be certified as ELT professionals.
According to M. L. Borrowman, (1956, repr. 1977) teacher training is defined as the ‘…. professional preparation of teachers, through formal course work, seminars and practice teaching’.
I think you would agree with me that the need for professionals out in the market is more than vital in this country. Of course, who is and who is not a professional is easy for each one of us to evaluate just by reflecting on the following list of criteria as they have been set by Hoyle, (1969 :81)
• A profession performs an essential social service.
• A profession is founded upon a systematic body of knowledge.
• A profession requires a lengthy period of academic and practical training
• A profession has a high degree of autonomy.
• A profession has a code of ethics.
• A profession generates in-service growth
An inclusive course should provide professional training while focusing on all major language teaching areas. These are:
• Teaching Language (Vocabulary, grammar, phonology and teaching young learners)
• Teaching the skills (Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing), Skills integration
• Management (Establishing rapport, discipline issues, managing technology, correction techniques etc)
• Market specific issues (Materials adaptation and materials design, evaluation and testing, mixed ability classes, teaching exam classes
While looking around for the most suitable training course for yourself do not forget to take the following into consideration:
* Is the course flexible enough to match your teaching experience and is it customized for your needs?
* How is the course delivered? On-line, face-to-face? What is more convenient for you?
* Is it offered on part time and / or full time basis?
* If you are an expert, for example, in teaching juniors, can you skip this part of the course and be certified faster?
* Is there an ‘introductory’ mini course if you are a teacher with no experience at all?
* Does the course offer opportunities for preparation of a variety of lessons along with teaching practice and observation? Does it offer the opportunity to put in practice the skills learnt on the course?
* Does it include observation of experienced teachers teaching and other trainees teaching?
* Does it offer the opportunity for the creation of a professional portfolio with the work done (lesson plans, recorded lessons, assignments etc) during the course to use in your professional CV when looking for a teaching position in the local and overseas market?
BCED, offers a CERT TEFL on-line, distant course for English language teachers, designed and delivered by Akis Davanellos
Biodata: Akis Davanellos has been a school owner and Practitioner Teacher for twenty three years and he holds an MA in ELT from the University of Warwick. He has written a number of articles in local and international journals and he has worked for international and local publishing companies presenting professional and commercial seminars and courses. He has also been involved in forthcoming book evaluations and piloting. He is the initiator and the main materials designer of the IGUANA PROJECT publishing house, the initiator of the Iguana Project Educational Support System for schools (I.P.E.S.S.). He has also developed the
‘e-enilikes’ method for adult education and various e-learning and teacher training courses.)
For any further information please contact:
BCED- Best in Continuing Education and Development
11, Lykavitou Str., Athens, 10672 ,Greece
Tel: 0030 210 3638 997, Fax: 0030 210 3638 934