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21英语教师网 > 新闻资讯 > 国际看台 > 第四十六届IATEFL国际会议 > 正文
IATEFL 2012:教师感悟——What Training Programs Do We Need in UK?
作者:高歌(浙江外国语学院)    来源:21英语网    日期: 2012-04-10

 Many years ago when I visited Britain and Australia, I saw many teachers of English from Japan and South Korea there to attend TESOL training courses to be exposed to the culture and improve their skills of English language teaching. Some of these teachers were on their own expenses for their training programmes. I was envious at that time of them and wondering when Chinese teachers could do the same.

 But the dream is coming true before we have realized it as we now see more and more Chinese teachers of English coming to UK to have their TESOL training courses. English language learning is becoming more and more a must as the 46th IATEFL in Glasgow UK indicated that around 4-5 hundred million people in the world are now learning English or using the language for communication and it is without any doubt that the sun never sets on the English language.

 How can Chinese teachers of English get the most from their TESOL training in UK? Well, certain conditions must be met of course. Firstly the teachers must learn what they want to learn, which means the course they are doing must be a tailored one, well-designed to provide those with the contents at their request. Most teachers, as far as I know, want to be exposed to the culture where the language is used. They are also eager to see as much as possible many aspects of the country, including its historical places, museums, supermarkets, countryside so they have to go to as many cities as possible, as well as to visit schools of their British counterparts’ and talk to teachers, students and administrators so as to learn from their British counterparts’ success.

 Of course, they need to learn to be both aware of the cultural differences and able to handle culture shocks. A practical way to have this valuable experience is to take home-stay accommodation during the teachers' study in UK. For that reason, they need to be trained prior to their departure to learn how to handle the conflicts caused by cultural differences and the British side also must train their home-stay parents as well as their trainers and administration staff to acquire the same competence.

 Food is also a big issue. Many Chinese teachers are not used to the British food and can fail to eat well for a while. This may cause frustration among these trainees. So an alternative solution perhaps is to provide a kitchen or even a flat so that the Chinese teachers can cook and eat together for at least one Chinese meal a day.

 Internet and library use comes the next. In some training venues the internet facility can be poor or inaccessible, which may greatly limit teachers’ exploration of teaching resource on-line. The library is also a fantastic place that teachers must explore. But as the education systems of the two countries are so different, teachers can be at lost about where and how to make full use of the library resources. And it is not easy to learn to do that on a half day! Therefore the use of the library resources should be well-incorporated into the training course.

 Another issue which needs consideration can be that perhaps some fund should be put aside for unexpected emergency use, such as pay for a taxi, going to a restaurant, or even stay in a budget hotel overnight when a situation suddenly requires.

 The most important thing perhaps is that each side should have a liaison officer, who is responsible for looking after all the daily cultural issues, preparing for the on-going activities and keeping the training progress on track. The officer on each side should be a person who is experienced in international training programmes, patient, empathetic and have ample people skills for cross-culture communication. The training should also lead teachers towards this direction so that the teachers, when they are back to China, can pass on their knowledge and experience in this area to their colleagues and students to guarantee the on-coming programmes even more successful.

 Finally, what we should keep in mind is that when we are on a training program in an English speaking country: always remind ourselves that there is no such a thing as superior or inferior in terms of culture, there are only some differences between the two sides. As long as both sides are sincere, honest and willing to learn from each other, both will benefit the most from the training programmes and China can catch up in TESOL in no time.





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