Monday, 11 August 2014

On August 9th we started an FCE course for teachers with a Diagnostic Test in order to know if the participants have the required level (Upper-intermediate or B2 according to the CEFR) and could also cope with the different skills required in the test papers.


The FCE qualification is the basic qualification a teacher of English should have. Why is this so?

Most of the world’s English teachers are not native speakers of English, but we all know that it is not necessary to have a nativelike command of a language in order to teach it well  . How much of a language does one need to know to be able to teach it effectively? Of course, we know that there are other factors that influence the effectiveness of our teaching but let´s try to answer the first question by thinking of the language-specific competencies  that a language teacher needs  These include the ability to do the following kinds of things:

  • to comprehend texts accurately

  • to provide good language models

  • to maintain use of the target language in the classroom

  • to maintain fluent use of the target language

  • to give explanations and instructions in the target language

  • to provide examples of words and gramatical structures and give accurate explanations (ex. of vocabulary and langauge points)

  • to use appropriate classroom language

  • to select target-language resources (e.g. newspapers, magazines, the Internet)

  • to monitor his or her own speech and writing for accuracy

  • to give correct feedback on learner language

  • to provide input at an appropriate level of difficulty

  • to provide language-enrichment experiences for learners

Learning how to carry out these aspects of a lesson fluently and comprehensively in English is an important dimension of teacher learning for those whose mother tongue is not English. As Jack C. Richards (2011) in Performance in Language Teaching  said, "there is a threshold proficiency level the teacher needs to have reached in the target language in order to be able to teach effectively in English". 


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