QAI’s English Teaching Readiness Index (FR305)
The teaching of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) has expanded with the increasing use of English for Study, Teaching, Research, Further & Higher Education leading to use of English for work. The 21st Century teachers of English must use new, innovative and blended approach to teach English that will embed technology with established international standards, frameworks and benchmarks.
In the 21st century English is becoming the most ubiquitous the global language. It has become the language of science, technology, business, tourism, diplomacy, communication, presentation, social networking and more. Pervasive in many dimensions English has become a common denominator in all types of communication. is just everywhere. Teaching of English, therefore must be seen with the perspective of making students global citizens.
The English Teaching Readiness Index also forms part of the suite of 5 level self-assessment questionnaire for teachers of English language and allows them to self-assess their current understanding of teaching English as a foreign language and their awareness about the new methods, tools, practices which they may be using in their class. This English Teaching Readiness Index questionnaire is for English teachers only and is developed with the objective of providing a benchmark for them and the school to develop plans for professional development and self-improvement as necessary.
In this self-assessment guide there are 21 questions that are internally categorised to provide feedback to teachers on their ‘Knowledge and Certification’ and on ‘Adoption and Implementation’. Knowledge also needs to be implemented to demonstrate the teacher’s success with teaching.
Knowledge & Certification.
One of the fundamental changes that we have witnessed in the area of English language teaching has been the introduction of the Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) approach which emphasises the shift from the Teacher to the Learner as the centre of the learning environment.
The other is the recognition that the principles of teaching a second language to Learners and young learners in school, in specific are certainly different from that of teaching adults at the higher education level. Teachers and trainers need to keep that in focus when developing their knowledge and skills while planning language programmes and assessments.
The availability of information and search tools on the internet has eliminated the traditional asymmetry of knowledge access between the learner and the teacher. This has made it imperative for teachers to adopt innovative approaches towards creating the learning environment and curating resources appropriate for their learners. This equips them to meet the challenge of keeping young learners motivated, the class interactive and ensuring new learning is continuously happening.
English language teaching today needs to include a student-centred pedagogy, augmented learning beyond the classroom and use of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) tools for teaching and learning. Teachers and trainers need to be not just aware of but also be fluent users of the various tools available to them to be able to effectively deliver the highest quality learning.
It therefore becomes important for the teachers to ensure that they have developed their English language skills in their domain area and then integrate it with their teaching.
It is therefore expected that English teachers build and upgrade their skills through a journey of understanding the principles of teaching English as a second language in school, learning about the fundamentals of the CLT approach to teaching English to young learners, understanding the current bench-marks in English language proficiency, appreciating the need for innovative teaching methods and curating learning resources.
The programme must also focus on helping to understand the benefits of innovative teaching and work towards implementing these to meet the needs of the 21st century learners.
When deciding on a good continuous development programme, teachers must ensure that it covers:
- International standards and benchmarks such as Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), the Global Scale of English (GSE), the Cambridge Scale of English (CSE) etc..
- Helps develop descriptors for your student’s based on the international frameworks.
- Using ICT to augment teaching-learning.
- Integrating English across other subjects when taught in an English medium environment.
- Developing visual communication and other innovative teaching methods.
- Personalisation of English language teaching.
- Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS).
- Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP).
- Communicative English Teaching (CLT) approach.
- Developing engaging lessons and concept revisions.
- Developing new forms of assessments linked to the international frameworks that talk about modular enhancement of English language.
- Curating and Creating high quality learning resources.
The programme must end with some form of assessment / assignment that would include practical and hands-on activities, leading into an international certification
Adoption & Implementation.
Having acquired the 21st century skills and international standards and benchmarks, it would be imperative for the teachers to transfer their knowledge and skills into reality by implementing the same as part of their teaching-learning process.
The teachers need to go beyond prescribed text books/course books and move to the next level by integrating new and innovative methods of developing English language skills of the students.
Subsequent to the implementation it would be necessary to measure success of these new and innovative teaching methods and plan further intervention.
In the 21st century, when implementing English language teaching, the teacher must keep in mind the following:
- Use international tools and resources.
- Include lots of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening as part of the activities.
- Contextualise English language teaching.
- Aim at developing English language across subjects.
- Be part of the Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) approach.
- Build assessments linked to international standards and framework.
- Develop personalisation to support the hesitant learners.
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