Supporting colleagues with embedding English: tips for coaches and trainers

  • Identify priority areas for embedding English with your colleagues – start from one or two aspects of English that learners have difficulties with
  • Emphasise the benefits for learners of embedding English and ask colleagues to identify opportunities to do this naturally in the syllabus
  • Encourage colleagues to share how they embed English already – a carousel or swap shop activity works well for this
  • Never assume colleagues know less than you do – keep the tone professional, collaborative and respectful
  • Use open questions to develop discussion and allow people to share prior knowledge, experiences and resources for embedding English
  • Many teachers lack confidence in embedding English, so encouragement and recognition of what they are already doing is a helpful approach
  • Maximise the practical applications of any training you do – model a game or activity with your colleagues, then ask them to debate its applications
  • Use the reflective questions “How could you adapt that?” and “What are the pros and cons of that approach/activity?” to encourage higher order thinking in plenary slots
  • Encourage teachers to identify one thing to try out with their learners and then set up a feedback meeting – avoid overwhelming them with too much at once as it is challenging to change practice!
  • Be ready to refer teachers to online resources or further training/support so make sure you know where things are in your college and who else might get involved with this work
  • Signpost blogs with practical approaches to embedding English and develop an English tip of the week for the intranet
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