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ELTeCS – English Language Teaching Contacts Scheme
a network for developing your expertise and a forum for sharing views
Written by Zsuzsa Kuti, Editor for ELTeCS list in Europe from Budapest, Hungary
Imagine working in isolation behind closed doors for long years;
Imagine teaching the same subject to different groups of learners year after year;
Imagine being left alone in a classroom with an unruly crowd of teenagers;
Imagine not having sufficient opportunities or time to update your knowledge and skills;
Imagine not having a professional forum to share and discuss concerns about teaching.
Teachers, in many schools across Europe, find themselves in the above situation without having access to contact with colleagues.
Now let’s imagine again …
Imagine sharing experiences and discussing ideas with teachers across the world every day;
Imagine having colleagues giving their expertise and support to help you in your classroom;
Imagine keeping up with the latest developments in the field of ELT;
Imagine being regularly informed about professional events from across Europe;
Imagine being part of a network and making the most use of it in your every day teaching practice.
How can this be achieved?
Through ELTeCS, a network for ELT professionals.
What is ELTeCS?
ELTeCS - the English Language Teaching Contacts Scheme, supported by the British Council - is a network which makes it possible for teachers to be part of a global network. It provides opportunities for professional development through activities and a democratic forum to the mutual benefit of all participating members. It connects teachers to a professional world where promoting sustainable development of ELT is the main aim.
This network was founded in the 1990s in Central European countries with the aim of providing a forum for discussion for ELT professionals. Since then it has grown into a global electronic network and has established 6 regions across the world. With the help of modern technology, teachers from all over the world are now connected to each other through Internet and email. Besides Europe, there are actively working regional networks in East Asia, India, South Asia, China, Latin America and Africa and the Middle East. These networks are also connected to each other so the global membership reaches 8800 members. ELTeCS in Europe has a membership of over 2500 professionals. These members are mainly from Central European countries with a growing membership from Western European countries, too. The members vary from beginner teachers to experienced ones, from teacher trainers, to trainer trainers, from state schools to private language schools or institutions. So the potential for sharing information, experiences and ideas and learning from each other is tremendous. More so because it is entirely teacher-driven, voluntary and free!
What does ELTeCS do?
ELTeCS disseminates good ELT practice between participating regions by sharing expertise and materials. Doing so it acts as a catalyst for innovation and provides opportunities for teachers to join in these activities. It supports activities which aim to develop and share skills and expertise. One of the assets of this network that it crosses borders and in each of its activity it aims to involve more than one participating region or country for the benefit of all.
ELTeCS funding exercise
To promote sustainable professional development in ELT across borders ELTeCS has set up a funding system which is open to every member. Twice each year members are invited to apply for a maximum of GBP 2000 which would be given to workshops, seminars, projects, exchanges and courses etc. Amongst the criteria for funding there is
regionality – the project will normally be of benefit to more than one country
innovation - elements in the project will be new and reflect current methodological attitudes and thinking
sustainability – the proposal will develop and maintain professional contacts between individuals and institutions
impact – the activity will affect the quality of networking
dissemination – the outcomes of the project will be shared with other ELT professionals
matching funds – ELTeCS will not be the only funder of the event and therefore funds may be required from other parties in cash or in kind.
A proposal form can be obtained through the website.
ELTeCS list – the discussion forum
The most active and regular part of the network is the discussion forum which is a free democratic forum for members of ELTeCS. It works as an electronic list and reaches ELTeCS members as email messages. The 2500 members of the European list keep in touch with each other with the help of this forum. The list belongs to its members and they are the members who keep it rolling by using it as a place for discussing teaching issues, sharing information and posting requests on the list. To join the list, please visit the website and follow the instructions there. You can also choose to be a member of other ELTeCS regional lists.
To visit the ELTeCS website and to join the discussion list go to.
Or to join the discussion list go to:
How does ELTeCS network function?
Here are some examples to illustrate how ELTeCS works every day.
A teacher in Croatia wants to find out what her colleagues in different countries think about the role of mother tongue in the EFL classroom. She initiates a discussion by placing a question on the list and inviting colleagues to share their views. The open discussion goes on for weeks on the list for the benefits of all members.
An international conference for ELT professionals is planned to be organised in Poland
about using Information Technology in ELT and an announcement is placed on ELTeCS list inviting members for their participation and their presentations.
New resource material, a journal for teachers, is published in Bulgaria based on a successful project around integrating science in the English language curriculum. An announcement is posted on the list for providing access to this journal.
An innovative website is created as a product of a joint-project with the participation of 3 countries and an announcement is made on the ELTeCS list inviting members to visit the website and make use of the teaching materials in their everyday practice.
A colleague from Mexico shares her experience in teaching large classes and invites others to do so, too.
Summer Schools for ELT teachers are organized in 3 countries and an announcement is posted about how to apply for such courses.
An advertisement is placed on the list from a university advertising a master Degree course in a special field of interest.
A report is posted about a recent ELT event which was announced on the ELTeCS list earlier.
A young teacher is involved in a classroom survey and would like to collect data from different counties. A request for participation in the survey is posted on the list. Later the brief findings are also made public for members.
Such a network thrives on active involvement, mutual trust and respect for each other as teaching professionals. While access to email facility is an asset in keeping touch with professionals across the world, colleagues who are not yet connected will also benefit from this network and join it contacting the British Council in London.
ELTeCS membership is open to anyone who is involved in teaching English or in training in any levels.
Visit the ELTeCS website and join the network
For more information please contact
ELT Network Services Manager
10 Spring Gardens London SW1A 2BN
T +44 (0)20 7389 4721
F +44 (0)20 7389 4464
Editor for ELTeCS list in Europe