Professional development for teachers

 Table of Contents:


Group English language booster courses for teachers

Languages United provides booster courses for teachers of English and teachers who use English as a medium of instruction (EMI). These courses are designed to:

  • Improve confidence in spoken English.
  • Improve English language skills.
  • Develop classroom management techniques, such as giving instructions and eliciting.
  • Develop English teaching resources.
  • Develop the teacher's use of English to maximise the amount of English spoken in the classroom.
  • Exchange ideas and best practice with other teachers.

English language booster courses can be run for groups of students either online or at our school in Bath. Group courses in Bath include a city tour and social activities, with accommodation options including homestay, hostel and B&B. 

Courses can be tailored to the group's requirements, including specific topics of interest. We have previously provided such courses as "The Bath Experience – Using this World Heritage City and the Surrounding Environment as an Educational Resource".

Professional development with local school visits

Bath has two universities along with a number of private schools and nurseries. As part of professional development courses in Bath, we can offer the opportunity to visit and spend time in local schools, universities or nurseries. These visits demonstrate UK teaching methodologies and practice, and give the opportunity to discuss best practice with UK teachers.

PRELIM project

prelim gallery

Languages United was one of seventeen British Council accredited schools to take part in the PRELIM project, a project designed to improve the confidence, language and teaching skills of teachers abroad. The course was delivered online over ten weeks through group lessons, one-to-one mentoring with our teachers and self-study activities. The course was a great success, proving that online delivery of such courses is effective and enables participation by a wider group of teachers than would have been able to travel.

The PRELIM participants were delighted at their progress in such a short time:

“These 3 months for me were a step forward in my life... which I would gladly repeat many more times..”

 

"This is the first course I have done since I qualified to be a teacher, 7 years ago... I am really happy about that course. It was amazing three months. I'm very proud of it."


Individual development sessions for teachers of English

Individual development lessons are provided to help teachers improve their language ability. These lessons are suitable for teachers of English, and teachers whose medium of instruction is English.

 


The Virtual Staffroom - online development sessions for teachers of English

Our Virtual Staffroom is a professional development opportunity, where international teachers of English meet monthly to work on current issues and trends in English teaching.

This is a synchronous online gathering of teachers to discuss and exchange ideas, and offer suggestions for solutions to practical problems that teachers face in their English language teaching classrooms. Both online and face to face teaching techniques are discussed. 

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Partnerships with English Teachers' Associations

 Languages United is delighted to work with English Teachers' Assoications (ETAs) around the world. In collaboration with ETAs, we provide:

  • Development courses for teachers of English, both online and in-person, that can target a specific level (see PRELIM above).
  • ETA conference speakers. Previous presentations have included "RP or global pronunciation", "Online Teaching Methodology", "Online teaching classroom management", "Live classroom observation", "Using Flipgrid for storytelling", "Flipped Classroom methodology".
"ETAG has gained a valuable partner. I believe that this collaboration will continue (fingers crossed for this)" Manana Ruseishvili, President, ETAG
"My expectations were that this would be a normal language development course, just like other ones... but this training exceeded my expectations and offered a unique way of training. Language development elements were very skillfully combined with British cultural studies. This made teachers very motivated and enthusiastic. In the end of the training what I saw was completely open and confident teachers eager to speak and get involved in the discussions"

 

Contact us for further information

The Two-Teacher system

Co-teaching with the two-teacher system

Languages United works with schools and teachers abroad to co-teach students. This way of teaching, combining local teaching with input from our UK-based teachers, supplements the mainstream language teaching in the school.

The two-teacher system benefits the students, their teachers, and the school:

  • bring cultural lessons to the classroom and the classroom to life, with authentic input from UK-based teachers
  • assist with professional development of teachers
  • trial and apply new teaching methodologies
  • reduce the cost of additional teaching staff
  • further develop less experienced teachers
  • help develop 21st century skills and global awareness and citizenship

In China, the Two-Teacher system (also called the Dual Teacher model) involves a co-teaching approach that really maximises the benefits of today’s video conferencing technology. The model involves one teacher delivering lesson input via live-streaming while the in-country classroom teacher facilitates the classroom management and lesson support. The two teachers work very closely together to ensure pre-lesson support is given, whether that’s vocabulary or other content, in-lesson support and post-lesson tasks and follow-up activities.

Co-teaching project: online debating club

Languages United worked with a school in Italy to run online debating lessons for their students. We assisted in developing debating techniques and language structures, following the world school of debating principles. We worked on developing all 21st century language skills, sentence stress and intonation and idiomatic language. The Languages United approach helped empower students to speak with confidence and deliver speeches with stronger impact.

"It helped me expressing myself and I have learnt a lot, it has been the best way to appreciate English. I loved it!"

 

"I really enjoyed exchanging my opinions with others, moreover debating also led me to know the points of view of other people and, thanks to this, I was able to expand my knowledge and maybe even change my thoughts about a certain topic."

 

"The teachers were really nice and motivating. The course was really useful and never boring, I had a lot of fun and I managed to learn something new. I liked the stress exercises very much, because that is something I'm not used to:)"

[students, online debating club]

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EAL support for UK schools

Languages United provides support for UK schoolchildren with English as an additional language (EAL). Working with teachers and support staff, our specialist staff use proven strategies and resources to help pupils develop their English skills and use them across their curriculum. This can provide the school with a number of advantages over provision by non-specialist staff:

Benefits of EAL support

  • We provide specialist teachers who are experienced in teaching students whose first language isn't English:
    • Students benefit from increased understanding of learning difficulties and appropriate EAL support / tuition.
  • We have a pool of specialist teachers for EAL:
    • School staff don't need to fit EAL lessons into their already stretched schedules.
    • We arrange cover if one of our EAL teachers is not available.
    • Support can be increased / decreased as the school requires.
    • The school does not incur recruitment, employment and training costs.
  • We work closely with the school to ensure a seamless service:
    • Students stay in an environment that they are familiar with and progress more rapidly.
    • A substantial amount of the administration is saved by the school - staff scheduling, lesson planning, DBS checking.
    • Liason with the school and its staff ensure specific student needs are considered, including their English requirements across the curriculum.
  • We can provide training for school staff:
    • The school develops a long-term strategy to embed EAL support.
  • We have flexible delivery of training, both online and in-school.
    • Student benefits from continuity of support if circumstances change.

About EAL

According to the January 2018 School Census, there are now more than 1.5 million pupils in the UK who are recorded as having EAL.

The government’s definition of a pupil with EAL is anyone who has been exposed to a language other than English during early childhood and “continues to be exposed to this language in the home or the community”.
In addition to the above definition, EAL learners are as diverse as any large group of people.

Here are some categories to illustrate the diversity of EAL learners:

  • Diverse in cultural background: they may be UK-born, or recently arrived in the UK due to personal and professional choice or desperate circumstances.
  • Diverse in English language proficiency: they may be new to English, use English as a main language but not yet at the age expected proficiency, or they may be fluent bi/multilingual in English and other language/s.
  • Diverse in educational background: they may have experienced interrupted or no schooling, only the UK school system, or consistent schooling via a different curriculum.
  • Diverse in their literacy: they may be familiar with the Latin-based alphabet/script, or may be literate in a non-Latin based alphabet/script or not literate at all.

Languages United employs language development strategies that will benefit all EAL learners who need support in developing the language needed to access the curriculum. These strategies help assess and record language levels of the EAL learners to identify the students’ needs and better target their support.

 

We have been very impressed with the level of professionalism and expertise that Languages United have offered our EAL pupils. The pupils enjoy their lessons and can take what they have learned with their Languages United teacher and transfer it to other areas of their learning.

We have also appreciated the degree of flexibility they have offered: they have provided both in person and online lessons, which has been very helpful.

It has been very easy to track progress, as Languages United provide us with weekly lesson plans; comments on pupil performance in lessons and formal reports upon request.

[EAL administrator, secondary school in Bath]

Teaching in an EAL classroom often involves going beyond the regular language skills and knowledge required in a standard ELT class.
Helping your students boost their confidence when using their 'new' English language and new host culture can only take place once you've built a relationship of trust over time. Only then can you start to reveal, highlight and draw on the hidden strengths they may have in their own heritage language and culture.

[Languages United EAL teacher]

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