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British Council has used have come about through a mix of strong teamwork and creativity and a shared understanding of key challenges and pressure points, as well as the ‘sweet spots’ where local policy dovetails with a project intervention. 3.

Make sure benefits of non-training forms of CPD are clear to all stakeholders

If this does not happen at every stage of a project or CPD initiative it can be easy for something to be rejected, dismissed or halted at any point if a stakeholder or key gatekeeper sees the process or intervention as a barrier or threat. 4.

Keep CPD simple but well understood

If CPD is seen as complex or difficult to put into practice, then teachers simply won’t do it. It is essential, therefore, to keep CPD intervention simple and tailored to the project or programme. It is also important for impact to be visible and to keep linking success factors and improved classroom learning outcomes back to a CPD process (it usually can be!). Something as simple as using recycled materials to create an innovative new teaching and learning aid aimed at a specific learning ‘hard spot’ can be done creatively and easily with a strong outcome. 5.

Implementable

CPD needs to be user friendly. Helping teachers and teacher educators find easy ways to incorporate CPD activities into what they are already doing is key. Whether that is through incorporating a learning journal and reflection component into training or sharing experiences or undertaking a formal qualification, CPD needs to fit the current context for the individual, institution or programme. We also need to make sure that the personal development side is aligned to where teachers are in both language levels and competence in teaching methodology, and is realistic in terms of what teachers are actually able to do. 6.

Empowerment of master trainers and teacher educators

Recognise that for sustainable long-term change the master trainers and teacher educators need to be enabled 7 to train and support teachers’ individual needs in the same way that we expect a teacher to support his/her students’ learning needs. But starting with the familiar, through equipping them to deal with the realities of the training room, builds confidence, ensures that teachers are exposed to a method of training that is practical and mirrors the desired methodology of the classroom. This, in turn, provides a foundation for them to theorise their practice and become the enablers of the future. 7.

CPD for all stakeholders

CPD should not be confined to the trainers and teachers, but relevant support must be provided for education officers, senior academic staff involved in project design, and principals and senior officials responsible for designing and managing implementation. This builds a shared understanding of objectives, provides intrinsic motivation and is more likely to ensure a sustainable quality outcome. 7

The terms enabling and equipping are borrowed from Prof NS Prabhu who spoke about them in the context of language learning and teaching at the British Council’s First Policy Dialogue in Chennai in 2008.

Continuing professional development in action |

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Innovations in the CPD of English language teachers  

The publication, edited by David Hayes offers global perspectives on the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of English language teach...

Innovations in the CPD of English language teachers  

The publication, edited by David Hayes offers global perspectives on the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of English language teach...