Professional Learning Communities: What are they and what do they have to offer TEFL?

| October 1, 2009
Title
Professional Learning Communities: What are they and what do they have to offer TEFL?

Keywords: Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), teaching teams, program development, teacher collaboration, objectives, standards movement, evidence-based education

Authors
James Venema
Nagoya Women s University,Japan

Bio Data
James Venema was born in Canada, has taught ESL/EFL in Canada and Thailand, and has now been teaching in Japan for over 10 years. He obtained a BA in Psychology from the University of Alberta in 1993 and an MSc. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Aston University in 2002. He is presently an Associate Professor at Nagoya Women s University where he is also the English teacher coordinator. He is currently most interested in curriculum development and teacher education.

Abstract
Professional learning communities (PLCs) have been advocated as a means of restructuring schools to maximize learning in the public education systems of the United States and Canada. This article will discuss the relevance of PLCs within the TEFL community. It will begin with a brief overview of PLCs and some of their common characteristics before outlining some steps TEFL schools and programs would have to take to become PLCs. Next this paper will outline some possible benefits of PLCs for the TEFL field along with some questions and concerns. Finally, some tentative conclusions will be drawn as to what PLCs have to offer the EFL community.

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See pages: 3-12

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Category: Teaching Articles, Volume 39