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Introduction

  • 1.  Introduction

    Posted 14 days ago
    Hey there!

    My name is James Simmons. I'm a newly minted English Coordinator for Curriculum and Training at a school system here in Pakistan. For all those EFL teachers out there do you have any advice for me, especially from the vantage point of a trainer of teachers? Excited to grow in my understanding as I participate in this community.

    James Simmons

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    James Simmons
    Presbyterian Educational Board in Pakistan
    Pakistan
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  • 2.  RE: Introduction

    Posted 13 days ago

    Hi James Simmons,

    RE:  "For all those EFL teachers out there do you have any advice for me, especially from the vantage point of a trainer of teachers?"

    Training teachers as a group must be the most challenging aspect in the field of education.  For one thing, teachers do have their own perception on how best to teach their own domain.  In retrospect, teaching teachers where to start with the ESL instruction for sure can be vexing.  If I could just share my classroom experience on the subject, I would first introduce English Grammar to train teachers how to teach the English language.  The objective here is to ensure English teachers are proficient in grammar rules and must be competent to teach writing without obstruction.  My concept of training teachers how to teach English grammar instruction as an intro to learning English---goes beyond just showing them how to write intelligibly. 

    Teaching the usage of grammar also takes us beyond just knowing how to write well, it teaches us the mastery of the four areas of instruction:  Reading; Writing; Listening and Speaking, prescriptively.  In English, we read, write, and communicate from left to right and word order in a complete sentence does matter.  For non-native English educators, grammar should be your ESL 101 class---an intro to learning the English language.  I also believe---splitting out teaching the four areas of expertise takes away the toxin from students who sit in classrooms for a long period of time, (e.g., reading must be paired with writing; listening must be paired with speaking or communication) and teach each pair on separate days within a week.  I have always taught my students all four courses for two hours twice weekly in college and university-a program called immersion and tired sitting in classroom after an hour.  As we are all aware---it's best teaching students when they are wide awake and alert. 

    Logically speaking, on teachers training-smartboard or a white board is a great tool to illustrate key-points of grammar usage and ESL instruction.  Thus, training teachers on how to teach difficult concept of grammar---in smaller nuggets to ESL students, is simply necessary.  While that is certain, teachers must learn to eliminate enumerable knots embedded within grammar rules.  ESL students are easily discouraged with grammar guidelines---teachers in training must find the right methodologies to teach it without being too verbose.  I hope this suggestion is helpful to you James as well as for others.                         

     

    MerriLee Leonard
    M.A.Ed.,TESL
    Greenville University
    ISBN: 9781-5249-62708
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  • 3.  RE: Introduction

    Posted 12 days ago
    Edited by Richard Silberg 12 days ago
    Hello James,
    A great question.   As someone that has made a gradual transition from classroom teaching to the world of teacher training/consulting, the most important advice I have is to first know the situation your teachers are in, and tailor the training to meet their needs and context--observe as many classes as you can, talk to teachers first, create a needs analysis and move from there.  No teacher training or professional development can work unless the teachers buy in to the work and feel that they are stakeholders in the process, and that the training/development that they are engaged in is specific to their needs.  I know this to be true from both ends, as a life-long teacher on the receiving end of both incredible and useless professional development, and now in my capacity as a trainer and consultant.

    I want to put a plug in for the training of trainers certificate course that TESOL offers online.  I took it a year ago, and I learned so much--there is a careers worth of materials and information in this course and the teacher of it is fantastic--you can develop a project specific to your current situation. https://sites.tesol.org/MemberPortal/Events/2018/PL18_TOT1/TESOL-Event-Detail?EventKey=PL18_TOT

    Some resources to get you started:
    From teacher to trainer and beyond (webinar recording) from Cambridge English Trainer Framework
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oouhRbC_icI

    The British Councils resources for teacher educators
    https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/professional-development/teacher-educators

    Good luck,
    Richard

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    Richard Silberg
    ESL/Drama Teacher Berkeley, California
    English Language Specialist (former fellow) U.S. Dept. of State English language programs
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  • 4.  RE: Introduction

    Posted 11 days ago
    I too am interested in pursuing teacher education as a next step in my TESOL career and appreciate the resources that Richard mentioned. However, I don't see a forthcoming training of trainers on the TESOL calendar. Do you know if there will be one in the next few months?

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    Diane Haley
    Portland Adult Education
    United States
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  • 5.  RE: Introduction

    Posted 11 days ago

    I too am interested in pursuing teacher education as a next step in my TESOL career and appreciate the resources that Richard mentioned. However, I don't see a forthcoming training of trainers on the TESOL calendar. Do you know if there will be one in the next few months?
    Diane Haley,  01-12-2019 07:40
    Hi Diane,  I see there is a training coming up:  January 15- February 25.
    Here's the link
    https://sites.tesol.org/MemberPortal/Events/2020/PL20_TOT1/TESOL-Event-Detail?EventKey=PL20_TOT1

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    Richard Silberg
    ESL/Drama Teacher Berkeley, California
    English Language Specialist (former fellow) U.S. Dept. of State English language programs
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  • 6.  RE: Introduction

    Posted 11 days ago
    disregard my previous message. the online TESOL training for trainers takes place in 2020 from 15 Jan to 25 Feb.
    https://sites.tesol.org/MemberPortal/Events/2020/PL20_TOT1/TESOL-Event-Detail?EventKey=PL20_TOT1

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    Diane Haley
    Portland Adult Education
    United States
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  • 7.  RE: Introduction

    Posted 10 days ago

    Richard,

    What a gold mine of resources and good advice. I am definitely looking into that training of trainers course TESOL offers - that couldn't have come at a better time. I appreciate you reminding us all to know the situation our teachers are in. It seems easy to come in and assume what our teachers need and how they need it. A needs analysis would help clarify more precisely what those things are. Thanks so much!

    James



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    James Simmons
    Presbyterian Educational Board in Pakistan
    Pakistan
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  • 8.  RE: Introduction

    Posted 10 days ago

    MerriLee,

    I liked your idea of teaching the pairings on different days of the week to keep things interesting and not too mundane. Grammar is a big issue here, especially as it relates to the teachers that are teaching others. You're last advice of eliminating enumerable knots was so good - there are so many cognitively burdensome aspects of English that are marginally beneficial and maybe not worth our time covering in our classes. Thank you for the well thought-out email and great advice!

    James



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    James Simmons
    Presbyterian Educational Board in Pakistan
    Pakistan
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  • 9.  RE: Introduction

    Posted 9 days ago

    The English grammar is the basic unit of learning the English language and there's no other way to get around it.  That being the fundamental, you may have to take considerable time detangling some of the difficult grammar rules to teachers you are training.  When grammar has been mastered, it's so much   easier for teachers to plug & chug along the highway of teaching the higher levels of instruction (i.e., reading, writing and et al.).  Be sure you as a trainer---would remember to give teachers in training a fair amount of recess time---to get some air and allow a brief discussion themselves.  As for classroom students and as you may have been noticing---they do get tired after an hour sitting in classroom---the pairing idea you had mentioned earlier, would work best in this scenario.  If push comes to shove, please feel free to peruse through my beginner ESL grammar book below.  The book is concisely written and difficult rules are eliminated for easy understanding and mental retention---strictly designed for beginner.  I highly recommend it for teachers in your neck of the woods.  Click below.  Good luck, James. 

    MerriLee Leonard
    M.A.Ed.,TESL
    Greenville University
    ISBN: 9781-5249-62708
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