Published 13th December 2018

Professional Development

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is a hot topic in English Language Teaching at the moment. Even though there has long been a focus on a teacher’s TEFL certificate, it has now been realised that teacher development shouldn’t stop after they have qualified. Even experienced teachers need to make sure they focus on their own CPD, in order to keep up with the research and utilise current teaching methods and technologies. This can be in the form of in-house workshops or conferences, but it can also be done independently. These days, thanks to this focus on development, it’s super easy to find useful resources for professional development in ELT.

Here are a few of our favourite resources you can use to keep up-to-date with your CPD:

Online resources for professional development in ELT

  • Facebook groups

Many people don’t realise the usefulness of Facebook for their professional lives. Search for ELT or EFL groups and you will find a ton of groups which you can join. Be sure to choose groups that make sense for your teaching situation or else you will be inundated with posts which are not relevant to you. These groups also introduce you to like-minded teachers who can be a rich source of information in themselves.

  • Online courses

Coursera, Udemy, FutureLearn and Skill Success are the four massive online portals. They offer a wide range of courses, including a number of TEFL courses and courses on foreign language education. Signing up is completely free. The British Council Teaching English website also offers a number of free courses.

  • Reading

Even with all this technology at our fingertips, there’s nothing wrong with picking up a good old book (ok, or your Kindle). Authors you should keep an eye out for are Jeremy Harmer, Scott Thornbury, Jim Scrivener, Patsy Lightbown, Nina Spada, Martin Parrott and Michael Swan. The British Council Teaching English website also has research papers available.

  • Join an association

IATEFL is surely the biggest ELT association to join. Although it costs to be a member, it will give you access to publications, groups and discounted tickets for their annual conference. There are smaller sub-associations within IATEFL that you can join that may suit your specialisation – for example, Business English, materials development or Young Learners.

  • Follow blogs

Reading blogs is an easy way to incorporate professional development into your daily life. Blog posts are topical and current and can be read on your daily commute to work or while you enjoy a glass of wine at the end of the day! Popular blogs are those by Sandy Millin, Hana Ticha, Anthony Schmidt, Michael Griffin and Tyson Seburn.

Focussing on your own Continuous Professional Development shouldn’t be a task. It should be something you enjoy doing so find resources that suit your interests and your lifestyle. Then you’ll be sure to see a positive effect on your teaching.