So as to help our academic staff integrate into a Russian teaching environment as well as upgrade their skills, Language Link offers a wide-ranging academic support mechanism. At the local level, our teaching staff is supported by a London appointed Principal and/or or a Director of Studies (DOS) who monitor the teaching regularly and give academic support in the form of:
- DOS and peer observations (see below)
- Opportunities for team teaching
- A comprehensive IN-SET programme provided by senior members of the Language Link team and visiting speakers
- Opportunities to develop new and existing interests in specialized areas such as ESP, Young Learners or Teacher Development
- Access to Resource Centres in all of the main teaching locations
- Regular liaison, help, and counselling from their DoS in respect of any problem arising from accommodation, teaching or general welfare.
In addition, teachers are encouraged to talk to each other about ideas, materials and problems.
These measures have all been designed to help the teacher and ensure the quality of the services that we offer.
As an integral part of working at a Language Link School, all teachers have the opportunity to be observed teaching English by a senior member of the LL-team.
The purpose of observation is fourfold:
- To provide a basis for teachers to critically analyse their approaches to the teaching of English and to extend their understanding of individual strengths and weaknesses.
- To identify areas to work on and areas for development.
- To enable teachers to put into practice the methods and approaches presented within the Language Link IN-SET programme.
- To receive feedback on the above and to provide a forum for discussion of the above.
For each observation teachers are required to provide the observer with a lesson plan and a photocopy of all materials used. The observation will normally last 60 minutes but could be for the whole lesson. Following the observation the teacher will arrange a mutually convenient time with the observer for feedback. The teacher will also need to complete a post-observation feedback sheet which will form the basis of the discussion during feedback. Finally the teacher will receive a written report on his/her lesson by the observer.
In addition, Language Link actively encourages peer observation, though teachers should be aware what specific points they are observing. Feedback should be given to the teacher being observed.