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Where should Teacher Educators come from? November 20, 2009

Posted by Philip Clegg in English for Progress.
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In the parallel session, ‘In-service and Pre-service English Language Teacher Education’, the room split into two groups to discuss the best way forward for in-service and pre-service teacher education.

One recomendation that came out was that Teacher Educators should come from schools and not from institutes or universities. They should be good teachers with a lot of practical experience and not traditional academics with doctorate degrees. What do you think?

Who is going to select these teachers? How to select them?
Should teachers be allowed to nominate themselves?
How do we replace the good teachers who we take out to become teacher educators?
Your comments please.

How many years of pre-service training? November 20, 2009

Posted by Philip Clegg in English for Progress.
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Prof.  Siddiqui, Chair of the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE)talked about the development of new curriculum framework for teacher education in India that he hopes will be implemented nation wide over the next 3 to 4 years.
He says pre-service, in-service and professsional development of teachers must be considered as a continuum of teacher education.
He says there has been a shift towards a more constructivist approach to learning. He recognises a need to enhance language competence and a need to give space for teachers to become reflective practitioners.
Professor Siddiqui recommends a 2 years post graduation teacher training programme, or 4- 5 years for school leavers (after plus 2).
How many years pre-service training do you think teachers need?

How to manage educational change November 20, 2009

Posted by Philip Clegg in English for Progress.
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Dr Martin Wedell, Senior Lecturer, University of Leeds presented a session around planning for change in education.

He said that we are better at planning for change than seeing change in practice.

He also said change is unlikely to be identically implemented and that ultimately it is what teachers do in classrooms that determines what changes have taken place.

The neglect of how people actually experience change as distinct from how it might have been intended is at the heart of the spectacular failure of most social  and educational change policies.

Transition is a complex process – changing teachers to facilitators – we often think that training will take care of that. But it is also a matter of systemic support  – both visible and invisible.

Societal expectations and assessment systems must also change as well as the teachers and their teaching to ensure successful change processes.

What are employability skills? November 19, 2009

Posted by Philip Clegg in English for Progress.
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Stephen Jenner, Deputy Head Corporate Training, British Council India, poses this question as one of the parallel speakers for the Session ‘Meeting the Recruitment Challenge’.

Stephen stresses the need for a global benchmarking tool and suggests the CEF, or rather ‘CF’ as it is more commonly being referred to.

Stephen summarises the BPO recruiter’s daily challenge:
1. I need people with good English, but what does that mean?
2. What exactly are the communication skills I need for this specific process?
3. What do I do with borderliners?
4. How do I transform new recruits into first class employees?

We would love to hear your ideas, suggestions and answers to these questions! Keep your comments coming in…

High speed eloquence November 19, 2009

Posted by Philip Clegg in English for Progress.
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I want to draw your attention to Manish Sabharwal’s presentation at the Third Policy Dialogue, Session 3, Building Skills for Employability. Manish is CEO and President of Team Lease.

Manish spoke with such eloquence, wit and at such breakneck speed, that he managed to keep us all on the edge of our seats straight after lunch! His talk is peppered with so many wonderful soundbytes that I urge you to view at it in your own time. Find out what he meant by ‘the ovarian lottery’ and why  ‘English is like (Microsoft) Windows.’

Enjoy!

Should we label languages 1st, 2nd and 3rd? November 19, 2009

Posted by Philip Clegg in English for Progress.
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Som Mittal, president of NASSCOM,  speaks at the Third Polcy Dialogue as part of the first panel discussion – English Next India: Policy implications for English teaching and learning.

Som believes using the labels 1st, 2nd and 3rd language is wrong and wonders why we can’t just use the term ‘languages ‘ like we  do with other subjects, such as sciences. Should equal importance be given to L1, L2 and L3? What do you think?

The panel discussion is getting lively. Watch it live or recorded online!

Most popular food item November 19, 2009

Posted by Philip Clegg in English for Progress.
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H ello from a cool and sunny New Delhi.

I’ve just been sampling the buffet breakfast here at the conference venue, the Hyatt hotel, with my colleagues. The verdict on the hotel food so far has been very positive. There’s lots of variety and it all seems very fresh.

The smoked salmon was easily the most popular item on my table, though being vegetarian,  I did not partake. Everyone also enjoyed the salad and bakery selections. Ice cream was also on offer for breakfast, including a ‘roasted muesli flavour’.

Please send in your comments on the hotel food and what is tickling your taste buds.

At what age should English be taught? November 11, 2009

Posted by Philip Clegg in English for Progress.
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I’m going to be moderating a session titled ‘Education for all’ on the second day of the conference. This parallel session aims to throw light on the experiences and challenges faced by state governments when trying to implement English across the primary level. One question that always crops up when we talk about primary English education is; at what age should English be taught? As well as focussing on the child, this question often raises important issues surrounding a primary teacher’s English language proficiency, their educational background and their experience and qualifications. What are your views on implementing English at the primary level?

Green conference? November 6, 2009

Posted by Philip Clegg in English for Progress.
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Hello from a wet and soggy Chennai,

I’ll be interested to see if there are any eco-friendly initiatives at the Third Policy Dialogue next week and report back via this blog.

My question is; what changes can be made to conferences to make them greener and more environmentally friendly? Please send in your suggestions and comments.

NASSCOM President to attend British Council event November 5, 2009

Posted by Philip Clegg in English for Progress.
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The line up for the British Council’s English for Progress: Third Policy Dialogue looks impressive, with NASSCOM President Mr. Som Mittal set to speak during the first panel discussion on Thursday morning 19th November at the Hyatt Regency, New Delhi.

Some background information…The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) is the most important trade body of the IT and BPO industries in India. It has more than 1200 members, which include both Indian and multinational companies that have a presence in India, including the British Council . NASSCOM’s membership base makes up over 95% of the industry revenues in India and employs over 2.24 million professionals.

Don’t miss the coverage we will be giving to this event, live and online!

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