Lifelong learning sector covers adult education (16+) outside universities and takes place in further education colleges, adult and community learning centres, work-bases, libraries, archives and information centres, the forces, NHS, prisons, private colleges. The learners range widely in their ages, interests, abilities, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, etc.
Teacher’s Roles and Responsibilities
Our role as ESOL teachers is extremely diverse and includes many other aspects outside teaching in class, e.g. we can be a subject leader, a manager of learning resources, a curriculum developer, a tutor, an assessor, an advice giver, an administrator, a record keeper, an interviewer (Francis & Gould, 2009, p.8), a coach, a facilitator, a presenter, a mentor, a trainer (Grevells, 2008).
Each role assumes certain responsibilities, which are determined by legislation, institutional requirements and ground rules.
Reflecting on my responsibilities of ESOL as teacher, they include promoting a safe, supportive learning environment by ensuring that the entitlement, equality, inclusivity, diversity and differentiation principles are observed; preparing lesson plans and teaching materials; keeping records of lesson plans, attendance, retention, satisfaction, progress, assessments and complaints; interviewing prospective students ensuring they enroll on appropriate study programme; answering enquiries; teaching lessons and giving tutorials for agreed number of hours; providing course information and materials; offering advice and guidance; regularly assessing student progress as part of the teaching/learning process and undertaking formal assessment to national standards; complying with organizational policies, relevant national and local legislation and guidelines; facilitating acquiring appropriate certification upon successful course; keeping up to date with subject development, following appropriate CPD route; marking students’ work and discussing ways of improvement; discussing academic progress and discipline matters with colleagues and other assessors; attending relevant team meetings.
I observed some of these roles and responsibilities in the process of organising our CELTA course: the tutors performed administrative role by receiving and answering initial enquiries, contacting prospective students providing information and informing them of course changes; they acted as assessors by conducting interviews and tests to evaluate the applicants’ level. Observing an experienced tutor’s lesson enabled me to see how he promoted a safe and supportive leaning environment by ensuring equality, e.g. engaging all students in various activities; catering for different levels and needs by tailoring tasks and paraphrasing questions, encouraging contributions, promoting diversity by respecting their views; establishing clear ground rules, e.g. start, duration and location of lesson; making the lesson interesting and engaging, e.g. by preparing attention capturing materials, offering various activities and using interactive resources.
As ESOL teachers we need to be aware of and adhere in our everyday practice to current national legislation applicable to the lifelong learning sector, e.g. Children Act 2004, Protection of Children Act 1999, Health & Safety at Work 1974, Reporting on Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR), Disability and Discrimination Act 1995, including Part 4, Code of Practice, Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001, Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Race Relations Act 1976, amended 2000, Equality Act 2006.
Here are some examples of how these acts and regulations are incorporated in the teaching/learning process:
Health & Safety at Work 1974
It is important to ensure that the students work in a safe environment. Hazards (e.g. loose wires or slippery floors) must be reported to prevent any accidents. During...