The course I’m working on at the moment has got me thinking about the terms ‘teacher training’ and ‘teacher development’, and the differences between them.
I’m working with a group of student teachers who have all completed pedagogical degrees in their own country and who mostly want to become primary school teachers there. They are in Cambridge for four months as part of the ‘Bilingue’ programme their government has committed itself to. They may not need English specifically for their job but they’re all aware it will be invaluable for their future career in our changing world. The group I’m working with are low level and all want some input on methodology – and above all to learn ‘the full English’.
We’re initially using an elementary coursebook to set them on this path and, in time, I hope we will be able to unpack a morning’s lesson for its methodology – using graded language. In contrast to a teacher training scenario where, say on a CELTA, we’d do a demo lesson with trainees pretending to be upper intermediate students, this is teacher development. Our twin priority is their English level and their confidence in their ability to communicate in English. The input on methodology is a by-product of that which they see as desirable. While it stops short of training, for this group, it meets their needs in a way that other methodology-language mixes wouldn’t.
I’d be interested to know if, reading this, you make a similar distinction between development and training?