In this plenary talk, Silvana evaluates the suitability of teacher education programmes for native and non-native English speaker teachers (NESTs and NNESTs).

Date: 7 October 2016

Link to the recorded talk: http://britishcouncil.adobeconnect.com/p8xxqgy1cbh/

In many second language teacher education programmes, content and skills-related input concerning easily replicable approaches to teaching English as a Foreign Language still dominates the curriculum. Such approaches and their underpinning principles were originally developed for the globally mobile ‘native speakers’ of English in need of quick and practical solutions that would equip them to teach English anywhere in the world, implementing pretty much the same set of techniques and strategies irrespective of the local context(s) in which they happened to be working.

However, this ‘pedagogy for the NEST’ does not always take into account the different educational, socio-cultural or linguistic backgrounds, learning needs of local teachers and learners, or their teaching and learning contexts. Moreover, there is little research evidence of its effectiveness in promoting more efficacious language learning or improved outcomes for the learners.

In this talk for teacher educators I will examine the fitness for purpose of such approaches and make the case for a critical review of teacher education programmes. I will contextualise the need to ‘glocalise’ teacher education programmes – that is, to make them more context-relevant- within the backdrop of two key paradigm shifts currently taking place in language education and second language teacher education: the ‘social turn’ and the ‘multilingual turn’. I will give practical examples of possible directions.

Finally, I will argue for the need to include more evidence-informed pedagogies and to prepare teachers to become critical researchers of their own contexts.

About the speaker:

Silvana Richardson is Head of Teacher Development at Bell Educational Services and head of Programme Quality at the Bell Foundation. She has worked in English Language Teaching for over 25 years as teacher, academic manager, and has trained EFL, MFL, ESOL, EAL, CLIL and subject teachers and trainers in the state and private sectors both in the UK and abroad. She has been Director of the Bell DELTA Online and Director of Studies at Bell Teacher Campus, Cambridge, and has written online materials for teachers for Cambridge English Teacher. Silvana is a speaker at international conferences and a Quality Assurance inspector.

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