SPELTAC: Social Platform for English Language Teaching
Across the Curriculum
SPELTAC is a work-based, collaborative professional learning platform for supporting English language learners and promoting international mindedness in international schools.
Supporting emergent bilinguals and English language learning is one of the most important constants of international educators’ work. ‘We are all language teachers’ will sound familiar to many. Yet, how can professional development for English language teaching across the curriculum be sustained and differentiated? How can the conversation about how to support all learners who are learning on a bilingual continuum be continued? Do traditional ‘sit-and-get’ models of professional development really serve this important work or should this be an ongoing part of educators’ learning, one that is constantly explored, revisited and strengthened?
English-medium international schools are typically characterized by huge linguistic diversity. Effectively supporting this diversity requires specialist knowledge about how children learn languages, how language works and how lessons can be designed to incorporate language learning, while at the same time fostering multilingual student identities. A school-wide effort is needed to support and teach English language learners, involving staff training and ongoing collaboration between all stakeholders in the school community.
With most students on a bilingual continuum, international schools need a sustained focus on cross-curricular English language and literacy teaching, necessitating a sustainable form of professional learning.
While peer observation is a powerful model of professional development for teachers, blogging can add deeper dimensions, such as making thought processes and reflective practice visible.
SPELTAC participants follow seven online courses which span one school year. These courses are designed for teachers to develop their own inquiry questions, specific to their own understanding, experience and teaching area. They document student learning on their SPELTAC blog and share with other educators globally and locally.
View how a course works
A Sustainable Form of Professional Learning
SPELTAC is self- driven and grounded in inquiry and reflection, focusing on improving planning and instruction. SPELTAC is connected to teachers’ work with their students in every division of the school.
SPELTAC uses the power of technology and social media to share and document excellent practice and learn from educators globally.
SPELTAC is collaborative, involving the sharing of knowledge and focusing on communities of practice locally and globally.