Free online resources for ELT continuing professional development

Everyone likes a freebie.

It won’t have escaped your attention that there is a lot of useful information online for the dedicated ELT professional. All you need is time and an internet connection, and you can keep up with the latest discussions on methodology and industry trends. Whether you’re a teacher, materials writer or publisher, there is a lot of fab, free career-enhancing stuff out there. Training doesn’t have to be expensive. To save you some legwork, I’m going to use this post to summarise some of the highlights I’ve found recently. It is by no means a comprehensive list, but I hope it’s a useful starting point. Feel free to add more recommendations in the comments.

cup-of-coffee pixabay
Photo source: Pixabay

ELT webinars

Many publishers are now running webinars as a way of promoting their products and authors. But what if you’re not available for the live event?

Oxford University Press have a webinar library, where you can view recordings of previous sessions, organised into subcategories and covering a diverse range of topics. You have to create an account, but you don’t have to agree to be bombarded with promotional material.  You can access it here.

And here’s the one for National Geographic, which also looks great.

MOOCs and training courses

ELTjam have just launched their training site, the ELTjam Academy. Using the promo code ‘WHITEINK’, you can do their informative and thought-provoking ‘ELT in the digital age’ course for free. It’s based around a series of videos and accompanying tasks. They say it takes around 3 hours (but allow longer so you can explore the links and scroll through the interesting comments). One particularly nice feature is the Facebook community they’ve created to accompany the course to encourage networking and further discussion. The ‘Dive deeper’ sections with suggestions for further reading are great too.

If you have a bit more time and can dedicate a few hours a week to CPD, MOOCs are a good way of building your knowledge of a particular field, and (for a fee) getting certification to prove it. My experience of the British Council’s MOOC ‘English in Early Childhood: Language Learning and Development’, was wholly positive, for example. The British Council are currently running a course called ‘Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching’, together with the University of Southampton, drawing on their MA in English language teaching course. You can still enrol here.

There’s a list of all the courses on the Future Learn platform relating to teaching here. For many of these MOOCs, even if you miss the ones you really fancy, or haven’t time to participate at the moment, it’s possible to register your interest and receive a notification the next time they run.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to do them all…

Conference recordings, slides and blogs

Couldn’t make it to IATEFL 2017 in Glasgow? Don’t worry, there’s a lot you can still watch. You can see recordings of many of the sessions on the IATEFL site, and the interviews are worth a look, too. Some publishers are making videos of the sessions they sponsored available as well. You can see the ones from Cambridge University Press here.

What else? It’s worth reading the write-ups by conference bloggers. There’s a great summary by Sandy Millin here, for example. And there are slides too, such as these from the ELTjam presentation on creating ELT products with impact.

So much interesting stuff, so little time!

 

You can see Part 2 of this series on free online training resources here!

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