NILE Online courses have recently been accredited as being aligned to the Eaquals Teacher Development framework. NILE has mapped the contents of its online courses, indicating how they relate to the competencies covered by the framework.
This mapping is an important facet of the NILE courses, both for individuals and for the organisations they work in.
For individuals it offers the reassurance that the content they are covering on a specific course (such as Technology Assisted Language Learning) is relevant to their general development as a teacher, and to the progression of their career. The Eaquals framework outlines three phases of development - from ‘competent replicator’, through ‘aware practitioner’, to ‘expert facilitator’. In this way teachers can map their career progression through NILE courses.
For organisations the accreditation not only represents acknowledgement of the NILE courses by a recognised international organisation, but gives managers a clear method for planning the development of their staff.
The Teacher Development Framework is a valuable resource produced through the collaboration of a number of members of the Eaquals organisation. It identifies five key competencies of teacher development:
- Planning Teaching and Learning
- Teaching and Supporting Learning
- Assessment of Learning
- Language Communication and Culture
- The Teacher as Professional
Within each of these areas it provides a number of subsections (e.g. Learner needs, Curriculum, Lesson aims and Lesson tasks - within Planning teaching and Learning).
Each area has descriptors indicating kind of knowledge that a teacher will need, and the related skills that they should have. In this way that framework combines theory and practice.
The NILE Online courses offer extensive teacher support, through collaboration with other course participants using a range of online teaching and learning tools. There is a maximum of 16 participants per course. Unlike many other online courses, the tutor is present throughout the course, offering participants feedback and guidance on their development. The courses include assignment options for the participants to choose from if they wish to, offering a practical application of the knowledge gained to their specific teaching and learning context. Course input is 8 weeks, with 4-5 hours commitment each week required. A further 4 weeks is allowed for completion of the assignments.