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More online CPD is a good thing

Over the last 5 years that I’ve been heavily involved with the online ELT community, it has been extremely satisfying to see the dramatic rise in participation at web conferences, online streaming of offline conference sessions, and types of synchronous Twitter chats. Webinar series–Shelly Terrell’s for American TESOL Institute springs to mind as the go-to–continue to be the most frequent and widespread OCPD (check out the ELT Calendar for a bunch in blue).  Yet still, I know there are a number of teachers who have some apprehension about attending, let alone leading one themselves.

To this end (and because I have a passion for these things) I’d like to introduce more opportunity to engage in online CPD through a series of webinars, offered on a fairly regular basis, at different times for different time zones, sometimes led by people you know, sometimes (hopefully) by those wanting to give it a try. With added choice, I hope to persuade more of us to get involved online and share their ideas.

The first 4C in ELT webinar, thanks to the Webheads Community for the resources:


As we look back at the history of English language teaching, we can see a correlation between the trends in the most popular language acquisition theories of its time, and the application of such assumptions into the language classroom. Whether it be Krashen’s ‘Affective Filter’ hypothesis translating into humanistic approaches such as De-Suggestopedia, or Searle’s speech acts giving rise to the functional syllabus, practitioners have tried to apply theory to practice in a way that best helps learners to best acquire the language. But we don’t always get it right.

Since the late 1960s, we’ve seen Hymes refute the focus on grammatical competence, highlighting instead the importance of communicative competence, we’ve had Michael Long talk about the role of interaction in language acquisition, and we’ve heard variations on Ellis’s proposition that teachers should not predetermine the linguistic content of a lesson. We claim that we’ve moved into a communicative era of language teaching, but how far are we really from the grammar syllabi of the 1950s?

If you have any questions the bubble to the front of your mind beforehand, feel free to write them in the comments section and during the Q&A, should they not be discussed during the talk itself, maybe Chia will be able to do it.

Speaker bio:
Chia Suan Chong is a General and Business English teacher and also runs teacher training courses such as the CELTA and the Cert IBET, in addition to cultural training courses. Based in York (UK), she is a regular conference presenter and graduated with a degree in Communications Studies and an MA in Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching. She is passionate about languages and is fascinated by the interplay between culture, communication, language, and thought. Chia blogs and tweets regularly for English Teaching Professional (@ETprofessional) and you can find out more about her at and

Thursday, April 24, 2014 @ 4:00PM – 5:00PM EST (see your timezone).

The recording of the webinar is now available. Click here.

PS – A special thanks to Shelly Sanchez Terrell and BELTA for the inspiration.

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