In August 2019 I started doing the NILE MA Trainer Development module and discovered there’s actually quite a lot of information out there to help teacher trainers, a lot of which had passed me by. This post aims to collect what I’ve found. Please let me know if there’s anything you’d add or if any of the links are broken.
Training for trainers
International House offer a Teacher Trainer Certificate. It’s a 14-week online course, with 12 weeks of input and 2 weeks to finish your portfolio. There is also a new (at the time of writing) Observation and giving feedback course, which I think is around 7 weeks long. IH teachers get a discount on both courses.
NILE (Norwich Institute for Language Education) offer a Trainer Development course. This can be taken as 2 weeks face-to-face or 10 weeks online. It can form one 30-credit module of the full NILE MA programme, the MA in Professional Development in Language Education (MAPDLE). I’ve written quite a lot connected to the MAPDLE on my blog.
IH ILC Brno run an annual trainers’ weekend. The first one was in 2019. Full details on their website.
British Council have a comprehensive teacher educator framework which you can use to help you identify gaps in your skills and work out what to develop next.
Jacqueline Douglas writes bite-sized blogposts covering all kinds of aspects of teacher training.
Matthew Noble currently writes the Muddles into Maxims blog, and previously wrote the Diary of a newbie CELTA trainer. Both contain lots of thought-provoking posts and first-hand experiences of training.
Zhenya Polosatova is a teacher trainer and educator from Ukraine. She regularly blogs ideas and reflections on her Wednesday Seminars blog. I particularly enjoyed her series of Trainer Conversations, for example this one with Rasha Halat (part 2).
Jim at Sponge ELT has recently (at the time of writing) become a teacher trainer and has started to blog about it. For example, he wrote this post about observer effects on teaching and learning. He has a series called The Teacher Trainer Diaries.
Rachel Tsateri has also blogged a lot about her teacher training experiences, including what she learnt as she completed the NILE MA Trainer Development module.
Jeanette Barsdell has posts about observations, connected to her book (see below).
I’ve written a lot of posts connected to teacher training. They’re all in the training category, and include this guest post by Lauren Perkins on principles for designing INSET (in-service) workshops for teachers.
Jo Gakonga shares lots of resources for teacher trainers.
Video in Language Teacher Education is a project by the University of Warwick and the British Council.
On the first Monday of each month, CELTA trainers meet on Twitter for CELTAchat. Even if you’re not a CELTA trainer, I’m sure you’ll find useful ideas there. Summaries of chats are published on the CELTAchat blog. The Twitter handle is @aChatCELT and you can read the hashtag even if you don’t have a Twitter account: #CELTAchat.
Journals and papers
You can also get a subscription to the Teacher Training Journal.
Silvana Richardson and Gabriel Diaz Maggioli proposed the INSPIRE model for effective professional development. Both have spoken a lot about CPD, for example this IATEFL talk on inspired professional development based on their white paper.
I’ve listed all of the teacher training books I’m aware of, including affiliate links to Amazon and BookDepository (meaning I get a few pennies if you order them that way) and a non-affiliate one to BEBC if possible, plus my posts about them if I’ve written one. I’m working through the backlog of books I’ve read for the MA and will be adding more over the next year or so if all goes to plan. Quite a few of these books are available secondhand a lot cheaper than you might expect!
- Trainer Development by Tony Wright and Rod Bolitho (Amazon, Book Depository, Lulu, my post)
Very practical: a focus on the humanistic side of training and working with the people in front of you as much as possible.
- Teaching Language Teachers: Scaffolding Professional Learning by Gabriel Diaz Maggioli (Amazon, Book Depository, my post)
Possibly more for MA TESOL trainers? But good for general theory too.
- Reflective Practice in English Language Teaching by Steve Mann and Steve Walsh (Amazon, Book Depository)
I devoured this, and got so many ideas from it – highly recommended!
- Language Teacher Education by Jon Roberts (Amazon, Book Depository)
A classic, I believe. Great for background theory, and has lots of examples of courses.
- Teaching Teachers: Processes and Practices by Angi Malderez and Martin Wedell (Amazon, Book Depository)
Another good one for background theory, with a worked example of how to approach creating a course.
- Mentor Courses: A Resource Book for Trainer-Trainers by Angi Malderez and Caroline Bodóczky (Amazon, BEBC, Book Depository)
Specifically for mentoring and training mentors, but has some useful things for general training.
- Advising and Supporting Teachers by Mick Randall with Barbara Thornton (Amazon, BEBC, Book Depository)
Particularly good for those doing longer-term advice and support.
- Ways of Training by Tessa Woodward (Amazon, Book Depository)
A recipe book with loads of ideas for different ways to tweak your training.
- Models and Metaphors in Language Teacher Training: Loop Input and Other Strategies by Tessa Woodward (Amazon, Book Depository)
The origin of loop input, full of worked examples of training sequences with a bit of theory at the end to tie it all off.
- Readings in Teacher Development by Katie Head and Pauline Taylor (Amazon, Book Depository)
A collection of excerpts from various different sources touching on a wide range of areas for teacher development, including mental and physical health.
- The Lazy Teacher Trainers Handbook by Magnus Coney (Amazon, Smashwords (affiliate), the round)
Ready-made workshops that largely depend on the input of the trainees and involve minimal preparation but maximum output. e-book only, but you can print it (I did!)
- Professional Development for Language Teachers by Jack C. Richards and Thomas S. C. Farrell (Amazon, Book Depository)
While aimed at teachers, this is good for ideas of different modes of training.
- The Developing Teacher by Duncan Foord (Amazon, BEBC, Book Depository)
Another one aimed at teachers, but covering with lots of different tasks you could adapt for the classroom.
- Classroom Observation Tasks by Ruth Wajnryb (Amazon, BEBC, Book Depository)
[I haven’t actually read this one yet, but I know it’s a classic!]
- ELT Lesson Observation & Feedback Handbook by Jeanette Barsdell (Amazon)
[I haven’t read this one either, but have heard good things about it.]
- The Routledge Handbook of English Language Teacher Education edited by Steve Walsh and Steve Mann (Amazon, Routledge, Book Depository)
[The price of this 2019 617-page book means I’m unlikely to get my hands on a copy any time soon, but the sample chapters and pages I’ve managed to read through Amazon LookInside and Google Books show that this is a fantastic compendium of up-to-date information about teacher training. P.S. If you buy a copy through my Amazon link, I’ll probably be able to afford one of the other books on this list!] 😉
- A Practical Introduction to Teacher Training in ELT by John Hughes (Amazon, BEBC, Book Depository) – I think this is the best basic introduction to teacher training, and as practical as the title claims.
And last but not least, the book I wrote 🙂 ELT Playbook Teacher Training:
…for which you can get badges if you share your responses to the reflective tasks included in the book using social media:
It’s available as a paperback through the BEBC website and can be shipped all over the world. You can also get it via as a paperback from Book Depository or Amazon’s print-on-demand service, as an Amazon Kindle e-book or an e-book in various formats (including .pdf) from Smashwords.
These podcasts have occasional episodes or sections devoted to teacher training or which might be useful in your training context:
- TEFL Training Institute
e.g. this episode with Ben Beaumont on reflection in teacher education
e.g. episode 7 about feedback or episode 8 about creating an organisation-wide culture of teacher development
e.g. John Fanselow on teacher observation or Gabriel Diaz Maggioli on teacher development
Special interest groups (SIGs)
IATEFL has two SIGs which teacher trainers may find useful:
Here are my diigo bookmarks, which I’m constantly adding to: