Alex, Ruth, and Lauren talk about professional development early on in their career as English language teachers.

Alex, an EFL Teacher
Ruth, an EFL Teacher
Lauren, an EFL teacher and languages undergraduate

Early on in your teaching career you will need to consolidate skills taught on the TEFL-I course.

You may have some of these needs:

  • Finding your career pathway
  • Understanding your learners
  • Building your confidence as a teacher of English
  • Knowing what good teaching of English is
  • Getting feedback on your teaching
  • Turning theory into practice and knowing how/where to get more theoretical knowledge that’s relevant
  • Knowing where to find classroom resources especially to match those resources to learners needs
  • Learning more about specific areas of ELT such as business English or young learners.

You progress by consolidating the skills learnt at Certificate level and by learning the skills and building the resources required for everyday teaching. Here are some areas you can think about for development:

  • Focus less on your plan and more on your learners
  • Manage your time efficiently in planning and classroom management
  • Plan for the longer term – week / month / course
  • Be open to feedback and constructive criticism
  • Reflect on training and teaching experience and use reflection to improve practice.

You are also learning the outside class skills you need:

  • How to work in the school system 
  • How to contribute to the team, including building resources
  • Record keeping
  • IT Skills.

Here are some ideas for professional development activities:

  • Attend workshops and actively look for ways to develop teaching
  • Ask for, share, and try out new ideas
  • Keep a record of what worked well in class
  • Seek guidance and input from other teachers
  • Work on taking into account the needs of the learners
  • Ask for feedback from students
  • Ask experienced teachers to observe you and give you feedback
  • Video or record yourself to identify areas for improvement
  • Find lots of ideas and suggestions on the British Council’s TeachingEnglish website.
  • Once you have bit of experience, why not take a British Council course: Steps to success.