New ELT teacher training offers tuition on the job

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ELT school managers have been urged to focus on retention and smoother onboarding to tackle the teacher recruitment shortage, amid the launch of a new English UK initiative.

Teachers who don’t have standard teaching qualifications will be trained on the job through a guided continuous professional development program, named AccessTEFL, which will be available “in the next month”, membership director for English UK Huan Japes said.

It comes after the Covid pandemic left a good number of ELT schools with shortages of teachers, amid the “great resignation” that touched multiple areas of the international education sector.

“It’s one thing hiring teachers, but it’s another thing keeping them,” Munir Mamujee, managing director at M2R Education told delegates at the English UK ELT conference.

“It’s also about the onboarding. How do you make sure in such a competitive marketplace that they don’t go anywhere else?”

Mamujee stressed that it’s not necessarily enough to just think about how language teachers are paid anymore – people are “quite rightly fixated” on their working conditions, CPD and especially employee wellbeing.

“What incentives can you offer teachers? If they’re not at the top of the ladder, you need to be thinking about what else can be done to promote your language schools – what is it that you offer?” said Mamujee

AccessTEFL looks to help on the CPD line, creating a “low-cost in-service qualification route” that can only taken at an Accreditation UK school – with the initiative having been born out of a recent review of its inspection criteria.

“It’s not simply a case anymore of looking at qualifications as being a tick-box – it’s also a case of looking at the ongoing support and development,” said Japes.

Thom Kiddle, director at NILE which collaborated with English UK on the project, stressed the program is a “complementary” route into teacher accreditation.

“It begins and promotes an ongoing professional dialogue between teachers and experienced peers – this will already be happening, but this gives a formalised structure to that.”

The course will include mentoring and will be done through a portfolio base – offering autonomy on focus, pace and choice of evidencing the aspects of the teacher’s professional development, Kiddle detailed.

“It’s not simply a case anymore of looking at qualifications as being a tick-box”

“Schools already have onboarding, but it formalises that within their support for new teachers. We’re giving more focus to that, as well as an English UK qualification at the end of it,” Kiddle added.

Alison Castle Kane, head of language business development at Trinity College London, said that looking at local university providers may help language schools with their recruitment efforts.

Many language schools are “fighting for the same quality of teachers”, Mamujee added.

“Hire early and keep in touch with teachers as they go through – it’s important to make sure what you do now bears fruit in the summer months,” Mamujee advised.

The post New ELT teacher training offers tuition on the job appeared first on The PIE News.

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