Quality in English Language Teacher Education

Friday, 27 February 2015

Hyderabad: The British Council in association with the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad (EFL-U) today inaugurated the fifth International English Language Teacher Educator Conference (TEC 15), one of the world’s largest conferences of English language teacher educators in the world.

The conference, which focuses on the quality of English language teaching and teacher education, will be held at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre, Novotel, near Hi-tech City, Hyderabad. The conference is supported by the English Language Teachers’ Association of India (ELTAI) and the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL). Other sponsors and supporters of TEC 15 include British Council Aptis, British Council IELTS, Cambridge University Press, Collins, Oxford University Press, the Regional English Language Office (RELO), TESS India, Brainfeed and Education World.

Each year the conference focuses on a certain theme. This year the theme is ‘Ensuring Quality in English Language Teacher Education’ in the belief that quality in teachers’ learning leads to better learning outcomes for learners. The theme will allow a wide-ranging exploration of teacher education in India and beyond, with a focus on quality in both pre-service education and in-service training. TEC 15 provides a platform that offers a networking opportunity for English language educators from India and across the globe to get together and discuss opportunities for professional development. The aim is to bring about innovation, share best practices and build a sustainable community of English language educators. 

The conference was inaugurated by His Excellency Shri E.S.L. Narasimhan, the Governor of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The inauguration ceremony was attended by Andrew McAllister, British Deputy High Commissioner, Hyderabad, Sunaina Singh, Vice-Chancellor English and Foreign Languages University(EFL-U), Chris Brandwood, Director English – South Asia, British Council, George Pickering, Trustee, International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (IATEFL) among others. On the opening day, the keynote address was delivered by Rod Bolitho, Academic Director of Norwich Institute for Language Education (NILE) on ‘The ingredients of quality in teacher education’.

Over 1,100 teacher educators, ministerial officials, heads of universities and colleges, representatives of the vocational sector, senior academic staff, directors of NGOs and policymakers from over 30 countries across the globe are assembled in Hyderabad over 27 February to 1 March to attend the conference. 

Says Chris Brandwood, Director, English, British Council South Asia: “The theme for this year’s conference is timely from a national and global perspective. Internationally, the most recent Global Monitoring Report on the six Education for All goals highlighted quality as its central concern. Key initiatives in India such as the Teacher Education Mission (2013), the National Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (2009-10) and the Planning Commission of India’s 12th Five Year Plan highlight issues of quality as fundamental to professional development of teachers.” 

Says Mei-kwei Barker, Director, British Council South India:  “We are delighted to partner with EFL-U and other partners for the fifth year of the international teacher educator conference (TEC 15). Registrations for the conference have continued to grow over the years and we are pleased to see this year’s conference reach a record number of participants and expect more to follow the conference online through social media and the live streaming of our web-casts. TEC 15 will continue to provide a world-class experience for our delegates and speakers and generate debate and discussion, with a wide variety of high quality plenaries, panel discussions, talks and workshops.” 

Says, Prof S Mohanraj, Dean, School of English language education, English and Foreign Languages University (EFL-U): “TEC has been a blessing to all the practicing teachers of English in the country. It has helped them grow professionally and motivated them to become better teachers.”

Over 100 experts and renowned scholars from the UK, India and other countries will speak at the conference, including practicing teacher educators from India and the region. They will discuss :

  • policy and quality initiatives
  • the quality of curriculum, materials and methods in English language teacher education
  • and reflect on monitoring and evaluation. 

Plenary sessions and debates will be held on the following themes over the three days and will include: 

  • Learning to read in India: challenges and opportunities for enhancing quality in teacher education by Rukmini Banerji of Pratham
  • A fine balance – English language teacher education in 21st-century India by Alison Alison Barrett, Director English for Education Systems, British Council South Asia
  • Teacher education and quality assurance by Professor Paul Gunashekar, English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad
  • A debate on whether moving away from traditional methodologies in language education is a good thing
  • A panel discussion on the evaluation of quality in teacher education programmes – what works?

The conference will also see the launch of key research initiatives, including the Survey of ELT Research in India, a fully searchable online research database of ELT research, developed by British Council, EFL University and the University of Warwick. This survey, the first of its kind for ELT in India, is a free, searchable dynamic online research database of first level information on research items. The database has over 350 research items from 2005-2014, with inputs from over 50 institutions from all over India. www.britishcouncil.org.in/elt/ 

The British Council will also announce the ‘Call for Papers’ for the 11th International Language and Development Conference, which it will host in New Delhi from 18 to 20 November 2015. In 2015 the theme of the Language and Development Conference is Multilingualism and Development. More information is available on www.langdevconferences.org.

Ravinarayan Chakrakodi, Regional Institute of English South India - Delegate of TEC 2014: “I congratulate you on the success of the Teacher Educator Conference 2014. It provided a vibrant platform for delegates and speakers from different parts of India and other countries to interact with each other, share interesting stories about their professional lives and also exchange a wide variety of resources.” 

The conference programme can be seen here: www.britishcouncil.in/tec15

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Notes to Editor


Mei-kwei Barker, Director, British Council, South India

Mei-kwei Barker has a rich experience of over 20 years with the British Council. Her last position was as Director of English, United Arab Emirates where she took the strategic lead for the Teaching Centre operations and English partnership work across the Emirates. Mei-kwei first joined British Council in Hong Kong where she worked as a teacher and has since held a number of senior positions in the British Council, managing operations in countries such as Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Egypt. The latter two gave her an opportunity to work within the Higher Education sector and in addition she has overseen Change Management portfolios across the full spectrum of British Council work in both Singapore and Egypt. 

Chris Brandwood, Director English, British Council South Asia

Chris Brandwood is Director English for the British Council’s South Asia region and is based in the New Delhi office. Chris has held teaching and management positions with the British Council in Naples, Rome, Sofia, Bilbao and Barcelona, before joining the South Asia team in August 2010. Chris is a graduate of University College London and holds teaching and management qualifications from Leicester University and Henley Management College.

Sunaina Singh, Vice-Chancellor, English and Foreign Languages University (EFL-U)

Prof. Sunaina Singh assumed charge as Vice Chancellor, English and Foreign Languages University on 14 May 2012. A distinguished Professor of English, she was Head and Chair, Department of English, Osmania University before embarking on this prestigious assignment. She was also President of the renowned Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, a bi-national research organization funded by the Canadian and Indian Governments, from 2009 to 2011.

Apart from her extensive academic achievements, she has been holding important administrative positions: she is a nominee of the Visitor (the President of India) at several Central Universities, and is a subject expert on different UGC Committees. She has served as the Director of both the English Language Teaching Centre as well as the Canadian Studies Centre at Osmania University. She was honored by the India-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) for her leadership in strengthening bilateral ties and collaboration in higher education, in November 2011. She is also a recipient of the prestigious Rashtriya Gaurav Award (2011) for her outstanding contribution to higher education.

Prof S Mohanraj Dean, School of English language education, English and Foreign Languages University (EFL-U)

Prof S Mohanraj is a senior member of the faculty in the English and Foreign Languages University. At present he is the Dean, School of English Language Education. He has over four decades of teaching experience with specialization in the areas of Materials Development and Teacher Education. He has been honoured with Best Practicing Teacher Award for the year 2010 by TESOL at its convention held in Boston. His areas of interest besides teacher education lie in Education Technology and Professional Development. He has travelled extensively both in India and outside conducting training programmes and attending conferences for presenting papers, delivering keynote addresses and chairing sessions. He has also published more than 150 research papers in national and international journals.

The annual Teacher Educator Conference is co-hosted by the English and Foreign Languages University (EFL-U) and British Council India.

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

The British Council has been teaching English for more than 75 years. We reach 100 million people in over 100 countries and support teachers and learners with comprehensive and innovative learning resources. As the world’s English experts we work with governments, institutions, teachers and learners to provide English language learning and teaching solutions that create life-changing opportunities for individuals and their future prosperity.

In India we offer a full range of our English Language services by:

• working with policy makers and partners in teacher development projects

• commissioning and promoting research and publications

• organising workshops, seminars, debates and conferences

• using a collaborative approach to Quality Assurance systems

• carrying out consultancy and training for corporate clients

• delivering services to learners through our teaching centres

• delivering services to learners through digital and self-access resources

• delivering examinations and working with partners on assessment

EFLU is one of the 39 central universities in India. Based in Hyderabad, it has over two hundred faculty members across three campuses, all of whom have specialised in different aspects of language study and language education. A primary purpose of EFLU is to train language teachers in methods and approaches appropriate to the Indian context, and it has been at the forefront of teacher education enterprises and research since its founding 56 years ago. It was previously known as the Central Institute of English. A number of eminent scholars from the university will be featured at this year’s Teacher Educator Conference, showcasing the innovative work that the university does in the area of teacher education and language teaching. 

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 8,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publicly-funded grant provides 20 per cent of our turnover which last year was £864 million. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, such as English classes and taking UK examinations, and also through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.