Wednesday, 2 May 2012

‘Years after the course’: dialogues with mid-career practitioners about the resilience of professional learning from a higher education CPD programme

‘Years after the course’: dialogues with mid-career practitioners about the resilience of professional learning from a higher education CPD programme


Joy Northcott


This article discusses a small-scale qualitative research study which examined the mid-career reflections of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers about their earlier training on the post-graduate in-service Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults (DELTA) programme. Participants offered observations on their experience which varied from extremely positive to highly critical, but most were able to testify to at least some continuing value of their earlier professional training. Some continued to make extensive use of techniques originally learned on the DELTA, decades later, whereas others were less convinced about the long-term value of their training experience. In this article four key factors are identified which appear to be associated with greater resilience of learning: the kind of motivation which participants brought to the course; the capacity of students and tutors to generate a “community of learning”; the course as a fully integrated learning experience; and post-course consolidation.

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