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December 2020 - Year 22 - Issue 6

ISSN 1755-9715

New Freely-available Titles about and for Teachers' Professional Development

Creating Global Change, IATEFL Global Issues SIG (GISIG), 2020

Open access:

Extract from Foreword by Margit Szesztay:

This publication takes us on a magic carpet tour and allows us to peer into thirty classrooms across four continents. What makes it special is that each article is written from a practitioner’s perspective, in a personal voice. Reading the articles feels like sitting with a fellow teacher over a cup of tea and listening to their stories.

There are stories of pain and hardship, of students and teachers who live in places under the threat of terrorism and armed conflict, many of whom have lived through emotional and physical trauma. There are stories of stark gender inequality and the lack of basic education – especially for girls. We hear about places facing environmental issues that have a dramatic impact on the lives of teachers and their students.

But above all, these stories are about teachers turning their classrooms into a safe place where students under their care are given a voice and where real concerns, problems, hopes and aspirations can be discussed. For example, you can find out about how creating ’menstrual cycle bracelets’ contributes to sex education in Cameroon or the way thinking routines such as ’See-Think-Wonder’ can empower young female students in Saudi-Arabia. Reflecting on our everyday language use, a fellow teacher from Singapore suggests that it makes a difference whether we ’kill two birds with one stone’ or ’feed two birds with one bowl’.


Mentoring teachers to research their classrooms: a practical handbook, Richard Smith. New Delhi: British Council India, 2020

Open Access:

Interest in teacher-research for purposes of professional development has been on the increase for several years, and the needs for effective mentoring in this area are widely recognised. However, there has been a lack of guidance and material support regarding how mentors can help teachers engage in research. This book bridges the gap by offering insights, practical ideas and activities based on direct experience within teacher-research mentoring projects and programmes internationally, in particular in Latin America and South Asia. Via down-to-earth advice and engaging activities, the book will help both practising and intending teacher-research mentors to develop their skills in this increasingly important area.

There is also a series of video-recorded interviews with mentors, which are linked to from within this publication. These are separately available here:


Creating Change: Global Issues in ELT in Africa, IATEFL Global Issues SIG (GISIG), 2020

Open access:

Extract from Foreword by Richard Kiely:

This collection of papers makes a contribution to the development of ELT in three ways.

First, it shows that global issues are at their heart local issues. The papers illustrate the ways these issues impact lives, and can transform communication in classrooms and other spaces where teachers and students interact. The issues relate to gender, particularly aspects of women’s and girls’ lives, healthcare, the environment, and socio-economic development. They are issues which are current or problematic in communities, which are meaningful for students, and which have the potential for horizon-shifting education as well as narrowly-constructed language instruction.

Second, these papers have ideas and activities for the English classroom. In the best tradition of Communicative Language Teaching, they combine what is meaningful, with activities to develop skills of comprehension, expression and articulation.

The ideas in this collection have the potential to not only challenge the thinking on current and difficult issues, but also to transform the pedagogy, to change the classroom into a safe space for exploring concerns, fears and difficult experiences.

Third, the writers of these papers are not just teachers: they are also Teacher Association (TA) activists. They are members of collectives of teachers who work together and with others to address local issues (which are also global issues), to act for the professional development of all teachers, and to support and guide novice teachers. These papers illustrate how teachers as part of TAs can be agents, and not just recipients of training and professional development.

This is a collection of papers to make us think. And then, to reflect on our practice as teachers, and on the potential of classrooms as spaces for engagement with the issues which really matter.

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