The Influence of Teaching the Teachers

Supposing you hold the currently released ELT News issue, the present feature section must be of fervent interest to the readership.


Reasons for Prioritizing Lifelong Education and Skills Development


Through educating oneself, the ESL/EFL teacher accomplishes an influential multi- faceted effect:


  1. They essentially nurture their professional, educational development of their existent formal background education. The driving mentality of pursuing development in terms of studies and/ or profession (interfacing factors) is to refresh, revise and be able to employ formerly acquired knowledge. Teachers aspire to rethink, reframe their learning and teaching methodology and update their approaches.
  2. Through constantly bringing themselves to the L2 Learner’s position- literally but mainly symbolically-they augment their real-classroom perception and responsiveness, which are deemed integral to the overall teacher’s performance.
  3. In other terms, life-long learning conduces to the teacher’s moral and mental development.
  4. The law of eternal change permeates education and its entire means (human and material) in a progressive and imperceptible way.
  5. Life-long learning could be considered as a collective contribution, as further progress influences both the student body and the teaching community as a whole.


Therefore, it is not a personal endeavor that would only benefit the trainee.

By Marina Siskos 

If we deliberate a school of the 1920s, we are decisively aware that it is conspicuously different from an equivalent institution of our age: though, it might be tough to define the individual ways and areas that constitute this difference.


The inherent repetitiveness of teaching imperils of its quality:


“Automation bias” is a definition referring to the kind of faults that our minds commit as a consequence of the automated completion of (in the specific case) the ESL/EFL duties.


A very oxymorous notion, if one takes under consideration the sensitively person-centered approach every aspect of teaching entails.


“Automation bias”, a relatively fresh concept, describes a particular class of errors that a professional might perpetrate in a highly automated environment.


ESL/EFL teachers’ schedule includes more than switching classrooms and reproducing the distributed lesson plan, though.


For the sake of precision, teaching in general, translates into


  • possessing and exercising the well-versed skills of grading papers and language comprehension and production- a skill demanding special training,
  • Decision-making, normally under pressure is a skill to thrive via practice and training,
  • Business management, for a respected population of freelance ESL/EFL teachers,
  • Time and resources management,  arranging and allocating ΜΑmaterials and tasks.


To name some more,


  • Administrative work is also required under the teaching practice,
  • Fundamentals of student and parent psychology,
  • Conflict resolution,  the ability to address clashing factors in the workplace and within the learning community.


The above enumerated acquired skills are anticipated to be implemented without inflicting commotion, but they are to be effectuated  discreetly and effortlessly.


Instructors of the English language in Greece come from heterogeneous educational backgrounds, so it is almost a rarity to find common points of reference, unless they are committed to professional development regiment.


ESL/EFL teachers constitute a very disparate field. Instructors of the English language in Greece come from heterogeneous educational backgrounds, so it is almost a rarity to find common points of reference, unless they are committed to a professional development regiment. Teaching and its consequential duties are dynamic in their nature. As society changes, the ecology of education is met with different needs and expectations.



Life-long learning and professional development means and activities


There exists a satisfactory range of means and methods for teachers’ life-long learning and development.


Print media


Books: Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Pearson, etc have released some of the most indispensable books on the subjects of second language acquisition workings, teaching principles and methodologies which are perpetually studied and referenced.


Providentially, one can find a variety of e-books, e-texts, insightful journals, scrutinizing  the respective sites of the ESL/EFL established publishing houses.


The ELT News magazine, as the unique print medium, addresses the current affairs of the ESL/EFL and it has been hosting prescient content, managing to formulate a common frame of reference for the ESL/EFL professionals for the last 30 years.


Content and activities of value have managed to upgrade the domain of teaching English in Greece.


Online print media:


The propagation of the online print media has brought several worthy media within everyone’s reach.


The EFL magazine, https://www.efl.magazine.com, provides  an interesting range of content and perspectives, bringing together voices of ESL/EFL from around the globe.


The Baan Dek, https://baandek.org/, is an online medium that discusses methods, approaches and principles of the Montessori approach and recommendations of incorporating them into the classroom.


It mainly reaches out to the Montessori advocates, though not exclusively.


The ADDitude magazine,  https://www.additude.com/ majorly of clinical educative content, apart from hosting in-depth articles and reviews that are composed by health professional and clinical educators, psychologists and physicians, it also offers an insightful range of free webinars which can be attended upon demand, suiting anyone’s availability.


Finally, it contributes valuable resources for further study and examination.


Educative Seminars, Thematic Conferences:


Educative, advisory, awareness-raising events are frequently organized and upheld by University Faculties, in particular by the Department of English Language  and Literature of the Aristotle University (https://www.auth.gr/) and the respective department of the National and Kapodistrian University (https://en.uoa.gr/)  and the department of Translation and Interpreting of the Ionian University (https://ionio.gr/en/) .


 The ELT News magazine organizes and carries out seminars and events, touching upon teaching and teacher-related issues, and TESOL


IATEFL (the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language).


The Hellenic-American Union hdelivers examination-centered seminars designed for ESL/EFL teachers in an effort to corroborate the preparation procedure for the Michigan University English exams.  Upon visiting the site of the HAU, http://www.hau.gr/ one could enroll to the seminars of their interest, either with physical presence or by distant learning.


The most highly pursued seminars are offered free of charge.


The British Council holds seminars and webinars discussing topics that regard the examination procedure and general issues on teaching, learning, grading and assessing L2 learners.


The YouTube Channel of Cambridge Teaching English archives the recorded webinars and presentations, so that interested teachers could attend in their convenience:  https://www.youtube.com/user/cambridgeenglishtv/featured.


The above entities and institutions compose the leading forces in EFL education and promotion of teachers’ development.


Furthermore, many established publishing houses hold intriguing and frequently qualitative events and presentations.


As regards distance learning, the ESL/EFL audience is fortunate to have the opportunity to attend courses delivered by eminent universities via the Ed.x: https://www.edx.org/, wherein one could decide and select among a spectrum of fields and courses.


A respectable amount of these courses are free of charge, but there also exists the option being examined on the course and obtain a certificate.


Which is the appropriate time to pursue professional development?


It is a very personal issue to be resolved with a universal response.


Rather, it would suffice to stress that free will, personal discretion, work -family balance are the major defining criteria of the ideal time to start a teacher development course.


Therefore, the time could vary, with someone seizing a gap year, a dry spell in their business or a maternity leave that might feel unproductive in terms of professional development.


Any time is appropriate, though it would be advisable to make provisions and operate proactively as much as possible, i.e. before any decline or corrosion makes its appearance to the quality of teaching and the overall performance.


It is judicious, as the element of obligation and external pressure can deprive the very essence of the educative procedure.


Fields of interest


Some of the topics of examination, fields of study that are on high demand (probably in tandem with societal changes, adjustments new- arising needs) are:


Interactive Teaching Methology, following the necessity to harness and utilize the technology and digital tools by keeping the human-centered approach in teaching.


Teachers’ Training on Dyslexia and ADHD.


The natural adaptation of ESL/EFL teaching to L2 learners with dyslexia, ADHD and the autism spectrum have caught teaching professionals underprepared in terms of knowledge, means and appropriate equipment.


Partly this might be reasoned as a consequence of the terra incognita that learning difficulties comprise even to the clinical and the specialized professionals, coupled with the learning difficulties and cognitive challenges evasive nature.


Teaching and learning in heterogeneous L2 environment.


Communicative Approach to Teaching and Developing L2 Grammar.


Teaching in multicultural L2 environment and integrative approach.


Instead of a conclusive remark, the following disclaimer might turn out to be applicable.


We need to anchor our expectations as regards life-long learning and teacher development.


Conferences, seminars, contributions of academic interest and vocational skills serve towards the end of upgrading theoretical knowledge, implementing university education, enriching perspective and acquiring purposive equipment.


They render no substitute of formal tertiary education, as they are complementary and not supplementary by default.


Upon participating or attending any event of educational content we are responsible to verify its authenticity (both of the event and the organizing body).


The cause of this need is that any incidental attendance of any event of questionable authority might end up being pernicious to both the teachers’ valuable time and effort and their finances.