The different 11 topics offered are:
You may choose three topics from the following list
Lesson Planning: demonstrates how to plan an effective ESL lesson. It focuses attention on identifying the skills that are the focus of the lesson. It also demonstrates and practices five stages for an effective lesson plan: warm-up/review, presentation, practice, application, and evaluation.
Total Physical Response: demonstrates how to conduct a lesson using the Total Physical Response (TPR) approach. This approach is based on the principle that listening naturally precedes speaking. During TPR activities, students listen silently to commands and respond nonverbally.
Focused Listening: presents listening skills as strategies to bridge the gap between classroom English and the English encountered outside the classroom.
Early Production: comes from the Natural Approach, which focuses on meaningful communication rather than the form of the language. Early Production emphasizes comprehensible input and is characterized by activities that require one or two word responses from students.
Dialogue/Drill: is an outgrowth of the audio-lingual method. It is used to develop speaking skills and pronunciation accuracy. The Dialogue places language structures in a context. The Drills emphasize the teacher as a model students mimic to practice structure, pronunciation, vocabulary, and intonation.
Information Gap: activities students do not have the same information. They must communicate with each other in order to close the gap in their information. The technique emphasizes the importance of real communication in the learning process.
Role Play: provides students the opportunity to deal with the unpredictable nature of language. The technique develops students’ skills choosing verbal and non-verbal language appropriate to the time, the place, and the person with whom they are communicating.
Problem Solving: helps develop communicative competence and critical thinking skills. It uses students’ concerns and problems as a subject for discussion. Students learn to make informed decisions based on a variety of solutions and their consequences.
Language Experience: is designed for preliterate, no literate, and semiliterate students to learn to read what they can already say. The technique emphasizes the concept that print represents spoken words, and the importance of getting students to recognize their own words before recognizing other kinds of reading.
Life Skills Reading: provides practice in extracting information that will assist the reader in performing some task for work or in daily life. It uses items such as ads, bus schedules and employee handbooks for its content.
Narrative Reading: involves reading in paragraph form, as in textbooks or newspapers. The technique focuses on global understanding and on the development of reading skills.
PLUS: You will receive a Certificate upon completion of each Micro-Credential. Individual feedback from trainers is included.
What are MICRO-CREDENTIALS?
Micro-credentials are specialized competency certifications. A micro-credential recognizes the expertise of an educator in a specific field of knowledge. Administrators use them to demonstrate the skill-based growth of teachers in their institution and to emphasize the impact professional learning has.
Micro-credentials are NOT simply token badges. They are hard-earned recognition of a teacher’s professional development.
8 Things You Should Know About Micro-credentials
Micro-credentials are currently highly in demand among the teaching fraternity all around the globe. They may seem like mere badges earned during the learning process but they are much more than simply that. They are an efficient way of establishing a competency-based education model. To earn a micro-credential, first, a learner has to choose the specific area of knowledge they want to earn it in. This could be a theoretical subject, pedagogical techniques, skill-sets like classroom management, or any other area of knowledge. They then need to work towards earning it. The process involves submitting specific evidence of earning mastery over the subject matter like a research paper, or a live demonstration. This is then evaluated by one or more assessors. Based on the expertise demonstrated. a micro-credential may be awarded, or the learner may be asked to continue to work on the area. Here are seven important features of micro-credentials:
1.- Respects Learner’s Time: Micro-credentials honor one’s existing skill and competence in a subject matter. If one already has the required expertise, they do not have to go through unnecessary training. The concept of micro-credentials is based on the understanding that a learner’s time is valuable. Hence a veteran teacher need not take a course that will be of more use for a new educator. Since it is based on a competency-based learning model, the veteran teacher can directly move to provide evidence that demonstrates their skill and get evaluated for the same. This gives them the time to focus on developing other skills that would be beneficial for their career.
2.- Based on Competency: Micro-credentials are awarded based on one’s skill and knowledge. It is not based on the time one spends in acquiring it as time spent on professional development is not always a good indicator of one’s expertise on the subject.
3.- ESSA aligned: Micro-credentials meet the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The ESSA has a high bar for professional learning qualifications and micro-credentials can help meet each of its criteria. ESSA requires professional learning to be:
- Sustained -Micro-credentials allow each learner to earn their credential at their own pace.
- Intensive -Micro-credentials are extremely specialized and are awarded to learners with in-depth knowledge in a subject area.
- Job-Embedded- Although a portion of the subject is learned online, most of the competency and knowledge required to earn a micro-credential is acquired while working.
- Collaborative-Micro-credentials are awarded on competency earned from collaborating with experts, colleagues, mentors, and other professional peers. The evaluator also provides in-depth feedback during the assessment.
- Data-driven- Micro-credentials are awarded based on a learner’s ability to demonstrate their expertise. It is not based on the time the learner takes to acquire the expertise.
- Classroom-centric- Micro-credentials allow the learner to focus on developing skills that will be beneficial for their teaching process and bring a qualitative difference to their classroom training.
4.- More than Badges: Micro-credentials are not mere badges. To understand what micro-credentials are one must be clear about what they are not. Badges are usually incentives given towards achieving micro-credentials. They gamify the process of earning a micro-credential. A micro-credential requires rigor in knowledge acquisition. One has to demonstrate one’s mastery in the subject to earn it. A badge may be awarded on earning a micro-credential but this badge has far more significance than, for instance, a badge awarded for attending one workshop or watching a series of lectures.
5.- Micro-learning based: Micro-credentials make learning manageable by breaking down ambitious projects into discrete and meaningful units. By creating micro-lessons that are achievable over a series of sessions, it allows the learner to earn mastery over huge fields of knowledge in a gradual manner akin to reaching milestones in a long journey. Usually, a session of micro-learning is 45-90 minutes long.
6.- Enhance Leadership Pathways: Micro-credentials are a means to hone leadership skills. These accreditations are a means for teachers to advance themselves in their professional path. Most teachers advance to become administrators at a certain point in their careers. However, many teachers do not want to become Principals. They want to continue to focus on their teaching. Micro-credentials allow teachers to become leaders in their chosen field. When one becomes certified as a specialist, other teachers look up to them for guidance and advice. This makes the teacher a leader among their peers. They are in a position to provide guidance, feedback, and share expertise in non-administrative roles. It does not take the teacher away from the classroom, rather it makes the classroom experience richer under the teacher. This also makes way for a culture of collaborative teaching and information sharing which further puts your district in a more coveted light for teachers looking for placements that provide growth opportunities along with job satisfaction.
7.- Enables Brand Building: Micro-credentials can build a brand name for your district as an education hub. Often teachers leave schools and even their careers for the want of a competitive educational environment that also allows them opportunities for meaningful professional development. A focus on micro-credentials can help retain teachers in the industry and draw quality educators to your district in search of fulfilling careers. By allowing teachers to focus and develop necessary critical skills, your district will also benefit and be equipped with better quality classroom teaching.
8.- Micro-credentials offer validation to an applicant’s curriculum while highlighting skills obtained in an authentic setting. This validation provides potential employers with a clear understanding of a candidate’s abilities and skills before extending a job offer.
Q: How are micro-credentials teacher-oriented?
A: Teachers need to continually upgrade their skill sets and update their knowledge over their chosen fields. Micro-credentials are a way to help them achieve this at their own pace and in a manner they believe best caters to their professional growth. Traditional ways of teacher training are growing obsolete and many teachers do not feel their academic qualifications make them competent enough for in-class teaching. Micro-credentials recognize that each teacher has individual skills and may want to focus on personalized areas for growth and improvement. By following the Every Student Succeeds Act guidelines micro-credentials allow each teacher to concentrate on sustained, intensive and classroom-focused betterment of their professional skills as they deem fit. This helps them grow in their careers and to provide a better learning experience to their students in their classroom.
Q: Why should institutions make micro-credentials an essential part of professional development strategy?
A: Every institution adheres to its own model of learning and professional growth. The benefits of using micro-credentials in your professional development strategy would depend on which model you cater to. Some advantages the incorporation would bring to your institution include:
- It will redefine the professional learning experience by bringing demonstrated competence into prime focus. Micro-credentials take a growth-based approach. This means seat time is relatively less important for gaining proficiency in a specific domain.
- It caters to developing skills based on targeted goals. Teachers can focus on specific growth goals that match their individual needs based on expert recommendations from their field.
- It allows sustained improvement based on ongoing feedback. As educators submit required pieces of evidence of their expertise, they are provided in-depth responses by their district-assigned assessors and this helps them gain proficiency under constant guidance and review.
- It makes all PD resources relevant and more meaningful. By allowing educators to utilize PD tools and resources to their optimal capacity, micro-credentials make all kinds of knowledge earning systems -from virtual PLCs to online tools to coaches and mentors — indispensable to the learning process.
Q: How does micro-credentials impact professional learning?
A: Micro-credentials enhance the professional learning experience by:
- Making job-embedded demonstration og knowledge a pre-requisite. This makes sure that the educator can apply their knowledge in their everyday classroom teaching.
- Allowing every educator to focus on what they deem critical knowledge. This lets every teacher focus on developing skills they need to work on without wasting time on what they have already gained proficiency in.