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English UK plans association for teachers in ELT

English UK has outlined plans to create the UK’s only national association supporting the continuing professional development  of English language teachers. The association, aimed at teachers from both the state and private sectors, would provide a framework for career progression and could even lead to ELT becoming a chartered profession in the UK.

"There's been no formal framework on which teachers can show where they stand"

“Anything we do would need to be carefully researched with both teachers and organisations,” said Huan Japes, EUK’s deputy chief executive for professional services. ”But I’d like to have something in place by this time next year.”

English UK said that the association would initially act as a “central information point”, making it easier for teachers to find continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities, such as courses from the British Council or Iatefl.

Japes says benchmarking CPD milestones is a huge undertaking

The next step would be to create a “descriptive framework” that gauged teachers’ development through the CPD courses they had taken and other benchmarks – what Japes describes as a “huge” undertaking.

“It would also need to explain whether each course or piece of CPD was suitable for teachers at a particular level of development: a lot of work would need to be done here,” he said.

A steering group for the association would also be established, and “much further down the line” chartered status for qualified teachers could be possible, giving ELT the official recognition enjoyed by professions such as accounting or marketing.

“This something that we at English UK have been working on for some time, the idea being for the industry to professionalise itself”

EUK has floated this idea since 2004 but it has proved difficult to get off the ground. Japes said that teachers would need to be self motivated and that the various benefits of membership still needed to be defined.

However, he told The PIE News he was excited about the idea, believing such a body could provide parity between ELT and mainstream education that has so far been lacking in the UK.

“This is something that we at English UK have been working on for some time, the idea being for the industry to professionalise itself.

“There’s been no formal framework on which teachers can show where they stand in terms of their level of expertise,” he said.

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