Cambridgeenglishteacher.org: BusyTeacher's Detailed Review

Cambridgeenglishteacher.org: BusyTeacher's Detailed Review

Andrei Zakhareuski
Cambridgeenglishteacher.org: BusyTeacher's Detailed Review

The Cambridge English Teacher site is as wonderful as would be expected from a household name like Cambridge.

This site is not a student site whatsoever; instead, it is truly a professional resource for instructors of English as a Second and Foreign Language. It’s touted as a place for “high-quality, affordable professional development for English language teachers to develop their skills and access support.” Here’s information directly from the website about its purpose and contents.

Cambridge English Teacher offers you opportunities to develop your skills and connect with other teachers and experts in English language teaching, wherever you are in the world. Cambridge English Teacher is run by two departments of the University of Cambridge with many years of experience and expertise in education and teacher development (including the CELTA, Delta and TKT qualifications):

  • Cambridge University Press and
  • Cambridge English Language Assessment.

Here are the suggested uses, as posted on the site.

Cambridge English Teacher has five key content areas for you to use:

Cambridge has the highest of reputations, not only in the field of teaching English, but in the world of education, in general.
  1. Showcase your career history and achievements and build a network of contacts who can support you in your development in our profile area
  2. Study independently and flexibly, with support from moderated discussion forums with online professional development courses designed specifically for you
  3. Find webinars, articles, a library of professional development materials from Cambridge University Press and a wealth of other resources for you to use in your teaching practice
  4. Read and contribute to discussions and broaden your understanding of current issues in English language teaching with our discussion forums
  5. Find details of events taking place near you and on the web, including live Cambridge English Teacher webinars, with our calendar of events.

Users can purchase a membership to enhance their experience. With membership, instructors will gain access to the following:

  • A course of your choice, with a certificate from Cambridge on completion, which you can add to your portfolio or CV. 1 course is included every year that you continue Membership, and additional courses can be purchased with Member pricing (20% saving), so you can keep strengthening your expertise.
  • Webinars with experts every 2 weeks, with a certificate of participation if you attend. Webinars are seminars on the web, allowing you to join hundreds of teachers from around the world in a live session exploring a practical topic – from the comfort of your chair. Don't worry if you've missed a webinar – you can watch the Replays any time.
  • A growing knowledge library of original articles, guides, summaries and more, written by experienced industry leaders. Members have unlimited access to refer to any resource at any time.
  • A digital subscription to English Teaching Professional – the ELT industry's leading magazine – is included when you become a Member here on our website (worth £28).
  • Connect with a global network of teachers through discussions and messaging, and build your own online profile to highlight your achievements.

It’s also possible to access the site with a trial membership. Users can choose to purchase greater access after sampling some of the available resources, which a great opportunity for teachers to scope out what the site has to offer without making an initial financial commitment.

The courses available on the site are self-study, online classes that can be completed any time during a 6-month time frame. Some of the topics include IELTS preparation, teaching young learners, and teaching vocabulary. All of the courses are just under $40, which includes a certificate upon completion.

Another great professional development opportunity for teachers is participation in webinars. These are also flexible in terms of time, and include a wide range of topics. More information can be accessed here.

For those teachers interested in professional dialogue with colleagues, the site maintains and active and comprehensive discussion area where users can post and respond to pedagogical and practical questions about teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language.

PROS:

  1. 1

    A trusted source

    Cambridge has the highest of reputations, not only in the field of teaching English, but in the world of education, in general. Users can rest assured that they are coming in contact with tested and refined materials and resources.

  2. 2

    Teaching training and professional development

    For those interested in building skills and competency as instructors, this is a wonderful place to do so. Cambridge English Teaching is a leader in the field, and those who are looking to develop in a particular pedagogical area will undoubtedly find what they are looking for.

  3. 3

    Cost is reasonable

    The price of membership is affordable and well worth it. The option for instructors to experiment with the website by signing up for a trial membership is a great feature for those who don’t want to immediately commit. The courses are priced very low, and the convenient time allotments and the flexibility of web-based learning can’t be beat. This is a particularly wise investment for isolated EFL teachers to make if they don’t have access to in-person professional development opportunities, but it’s just as practical for the busy teacher who wants to be able to fit a course or a webinar into a full schedule on their own terms.

CONS:

  1. 1

    Best for British-based teachers

    American teachers might do better with other resources when it comes to professional credentials and certifications. However, those who are purely concerned with quality needn’t look any further than Cambridge.

In general, this a great learning place for teachers.

I’d recommend using this site for professional development and the enhancement of an existing career. That said, it may also serve new ESL and EFL teachers well. It is certainly intended for those teaching with a British system, but American teachers can still benefit from the vast array of quality resources. It’s not a site to send students to, but rather, a place to improve as an instructor, something that all of us need to remember to devote time and energy to. Cambridge makes this easy. I’d love to hear from anyone who has taken a Cambridge course. What was your experience like? Are the opportunities as great as they seem?

This is a guest review by an independent author. This review reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of BusyTeacher.org as a publication.

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