With English being the global language it is, the provision of quality training for professional development becomes a must. In response to the growing demand in Europe and Latin America, as well as in the rest of the world, for improvement in the quality and effectiveness of English language teaching in both the public and the private sector, a programme in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) has been developed. It is specifically designed for distance learning and has been developed in collaboration with La Fundación Universitaria Iberoamericana (FUNIBER).
The programme aims to help practicing teachers, or those wishing to become teachers, address in an informed and principled way the issues and professional needs that relate to their own working environment. The type of training is thus developed to encourage the learner’s autonomy without losing sight of elements of constant but flexible interaction, tailored to the specific needs of teachers in professional development.
As a result, the material used has been designed to be accessed on the Internet by means of a special interface created for this reason. The interface is a central part of this type of teacher training since the virtual interaction, by means of e-mail, discussion groups, chats, etc., bridges the geographical gap between the different components of the course.
Both programmes, Maestría en Lingüística Aplicada a la Enseñanza del Inglés Como Lengua Extranjera and Master in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, are the same. The title of the degree varies according to the University chosen.
The programme does not consist simply of the delivery of content, but rather, just as in the case of face-to-face courses, it includes a series of pedagogical aspects aimed at promoting collaborative learning (between peers and tutors). All the courses are based on the following methodological concepts:
- Learning as a collaborative undertaking.
- A dynamic and constructivist concept of teaching and learning.
- Promotion of critical reflection on one’s own teaching practice and beliefs.
- An approach based on the framework of action-research.
- Cohesive and multicultural groups.