In every industry and in every team there are those players whose faces are synonymous with the company or organisation they are representing, and then there are those who work behind the scenes, still providing a sterling service. In today’s post we would like to turn the spotlight onto the star players of Team ELA Malta – our teachers!
Our teachers are those who ensure that our students leave our school having truly improved their English, irrespective of the length of their stay with us. They are the ones who make a difference in our students’ future, and the ones who are very often a determining factor of why our students come back to us year after year.
ELA’s academic team is very varied ranging from the very experienced and much loved older members, who form the backbone of the teaching staff. These are in turn interspersed with our younger, enthusiastic more recent additions who are just as qualified and sought after by our students. We believe that a mixture of experience and freshness is just what the school needs because that way we can truly please all our students who come to us with different expectations, different levels of knowledge, and different learning styles.
A high percentage of our teachers hail from countries where English is the native language – UK, USA, Canada, South Africa and Australia. We pay special attention to the teachers’ pronunciation since we know that this is an area which is extremely important to prospective students.
Teachers are regularly observed by our Director of Studies or his assistant, and are given regular continuous professional development courses and training. This ensures that they always keep abreast of latest developments in the ELT teaching world, and at the same time constantly encouraged to explore other teaching methodologies which enable them to go outside their comfort zone and continue to develop throughout their teaching career.
Besides, all ELA teachers automatically become members of MATEFL upon joining our team. MATEFL is the local ELT teachers’ organisation affiliated with the international organisation that is known by the name of IATEFL. Our teachers are regularly sponsored to attend external workshops, symposiums and from time to time, ELT talks which are organised by the Maltese regulatory body, the ELT council, and also our local accreditation organisation, of which ELA is a founding member: FELTOM.
Most of our teachers possess more than the minimum required qualifications laid down by the local ELT authorities. This means that most of our teachers have first degrees, CELTAs and CERT TESOLs and some also have other qualifications in their area of ESP (Business, Banking, Engineering, etc). This makes them not only qualified to teach English, but experienced in their area too, and this is generally described as an important asset by our students.
Most of ELA’s teachers are selected from our in-house TEFL CERT courses. The most important qualities that we look out for most in a teacher include ensuring that we choose those who fit into our closely-knit staffroom, but who also stood out during their pre-service training.
We believe that the fact that a lot of our teachers have been with us for many years is constant proof that the recruitment and teaching methods employed by ELA are ones that work. All this is reinforced by the feedback that our students give us on our teachers and courses – a major plus point that ELA prides itself in!