Friday, 21 February 2014

The fourth International English Language Teacher Educator Conference 2014 (TEC 2014), jointly organised by British Council, India in partnership with English Foreign Language University (EFL-U) saw more than 1200 participants learn the latest in English language innovations for teacher educators. The conference was held at Hyderabad International Convention Centre is supported by the ‘English Language Teachers’ Association of India (ELTAI) and the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL).  

At TEC 2014, networking opportunities with peers from across the globe was available to the participants along with opportunities for professional development to bring about innovation, sharing of best practices and building of a sustainable community and network of English language Teacher Educators. The partners for TEC 2014 included British Council IELTS, British Council Aptis, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, Collins and Trinity College, London. The event was also being sponsored by bksb, TESS India, Educast and Education World. 

On the opening day on Friday, the keynote address was delivered by Prof Simon Borg on the topic of ‘Teacher Research for Professional Development’.

The key objectives of TEC 2014 are to provide an opportunity for English language pre and in-service teacher educators from across South Asia to meet and share best practices, establish and build a sustainable community and network of English language teacher educators. The event is intended to serve as a forum for professional development. The conference comprises plenary sessions, workshops, presentations, panel discussions, coffee shops, debates and networking opportunities. 

"The Teacher Educator Conference is a part of the work of the British Council in English in India. We have worked with 12 state governments, involved about 8000 teachers who in turn have worked with over 800,000 teachers across the country. Our work, ELT publications and research papers with UK and its partners brings the best of UK expertise to India. Through our digital self access work we aim to provide high quality resources to teachers, teacher educators and learners through a variety of media from print to smartphones thus enabling English for all regardless of their access to technology. This conference is on the theme of Innovation and nowhere is it more relevant than in India. The multilingual, multiethnic nature of India necessitates and indeed stimulates Innovation. It is not only advanced technology or web based solutions. While this is important, Innovation is about people. The teachers, teacher educators, administrators and academics are trying to improve learning outcomes. Innovation is about the means to help young achieve their aspirations,” said Rob Lynes, Minister of Cultural Affairs, British Council, India."

“EFL-U is the only University to dedicatedly focus on English language teaching not just in India but also catering to South Asian and African countries. The theme of this year ‘Innovation in English language teacher education’ is not easy but important. With our partnership with British Council we aim to augment language with technology. There are a number of collaborative programs that we have forged with British Council under the English initiatives last year and we intend to take this forward. In training teachers we are also creating a whole new generation. E-teaching, E-modules using tools like Youtube and social networking would be the way forward”, said Sunaina Singh, Vice-Chancellor English and Foreign Languages University (EFL-U), Hyderabad."

Prof Santosh Panda, Chairperson National Council for Teacher Education during his inaugural address said, “Teacher education is undergoing tremendous transformation. For us as regulators it is important to meet people and take the feedback and reflect what exactly we should be doing. We are looking forward to implement innovative methodologies and strategies in our frameworks. We are getting engaged with English language teachers, teacher educators and developing a structured framework with them. We would be engaging in handholding and proceed towards recognition followed by monitoring and continued professional development and assessment. The National Council for Teacher Education therefore would have increased duration of preparation of teachers, bringing in continuing professional development whether it is face to face or continued learning or open distance learning or blended learning.”


Notes to Editor

About English Partnerships

Since 2007, we have worked in partnership with 12 state governments to improve the standards of English language teacher training, teaching and learning at the primary and secondary levels. Working with local bodies such as SCERT, SSA, RMSA and other private and public sector partners, we have directly trained over 8071 master trainers who have trained over 836,190 teachers to date.

British Council English language partnership projects are collaboratively designed to support local initiatives in English language teacher education and management, Continuing Professional Development (CPD), curriculum and textbook reform and in-service or pre-service teacher training and aim to build institutional and research capacity, as well as links with the UK. In all our projects and programmes we integrate innovative technologies such as Teaching English Radio-India, our Learn English and Teaching English websites and locally produced films of classroom teaching to enhance teacher and student learning. We work with partners to strengthen teacher communities through conferences and seminars and by providing access to free digital resources. We support state governments in the design and delivery of face-to-face training through a variety of different models, the most common being the cascade model. At the same time, we work collaboratively to design and manage parallel interventions and build sustainable support systems to build capacity for the long term. Our training consultants are Indian and understand the local needs of teachers and learners.

Background to the Conference

Previous conference themes were ‘Stimulating and Sustaining English Language Teacher Education and Development’ (2011), ‘Assessing and Evaluating English Language Teacher Education, Teaching and Learning’ (2012) and ‘English Language Teacher Education in Diverse Environments’ (2013). In 2014, we turn our attention to the broad theme of innovation, addressing the roles of exploration and experimentation in English language teacher education through technology and other innovative and pioneering practices. 

By choosing the theme of innovation, we include but in no way limit the scope to discussions on the use of technology for teacher education and/or as a tool for use in the classroom. Technology is viewed as one of the vehicles for innovations in our field, in contexts where its use is appropriate and possible. Central to the theme is the need to encourage teachers to experiment in the classroom and in so doing find new ways to support their students’ learning in the classroom. Diverse teaching environments across India results in an even greater need for teachers to be equipped with skills to seek out and examine new ways of approaching or solving common problems and the challenges that teachers face.

Innovation is recognized as a prerequisite for the continuing development of the Indian Education system, and is thus one of the six core principles underpinning the strategy of the 12th Five Year Plan:

“Within a common national legal and policy framework, innovations and diversity of approaches will be encouraged in matters of curricula, pedagogies and community engagements in order to respond to the diversity of learner groups, regional/social contexts and various stages/forms of institutional and human development in the educational sector” (12th Five Year Plan, Vol 3, pg. 52).

The NCF (2005) and the NCFTE (2009) clearly recommend a shift from knowledge and content based style of teaching to a participatory, experiential and skills based approach. We aim to ensure that this is reflected in the way that information is shared and conducted at the TEC and we will be looking at ways to make it more participatory for all.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK's international organisation for education and cultural relations. Dedicated to building trust through the exchange of knowledge between people worldwide, the British Council is represented in over 100 countries.