Who's Behind miguel bengoa elt?
I am currently working as an instructor at Izmir University of Economics in undergraduate preparatory courses. I have extensive experience in many fields of ELT including banking, industry, vacation schools and young learners. I have occupied posts as Director of Studies, School Manager and Tester.
My main interests in ELT revolve around learner autonomy and learner development. To understand my focus, one could do worse than look at the words: "Teacher Development" and "Teaching Development". "Teacher Development" is developing a teacher - a person. "Teaching Development" is developing the teacher's methodology. Most "teacher" training courses are, in my experience, teacher trainng courses which focus on output - the teaching methodology. The teacher as a person is a poor and distant second.
What is often touted as "Learner autonomy" is generally "learning" autonomy. Similarly, "learner development" is generally focussed on the "learning" and not the learner. This distinction is not just splitting hairs but it is an important aid to reflection that helps me ask fundamental questions about what I do in the classroom. The list of possible benefits of this approach include improved classroom dynamics, learners who listen (because the teacher listens) and negotiation about how we move forward as a group of people with supposedly (but not usually) common goals.
These benefits come about because the learners quickly realise that there is more going on in this classroom than knowledge delivery. Knowledge Delivery Rooms are not places conducive to self-examination and listening to others.