ESP teacher professional development during the COVID-19 era
Keywords:teacher professional development, English for Specific Purposes, webinar, online conference, the COVID-19 era
This article analyses professional development, completed by 34 in-service ESP teachers of the Department of English for Engineering No. 1 at Igor Sikorsky KPI during March-December 2020. In total 3344.3 hours of professional teacher development were analysed. They were confirmed by certificates of attendance and completion. A significant rise in the number of hours ESP teachers of the Department of English for Engineering No. 1 at Igor Sikorsky KPI spend professionally developing was noticed compared to the years before the pandemic. Quantitative methods and statistical and mathematical processing were used to analyse the data. Nine main categories of professional development were outlined. ICT teacher skills (51.8 % hours), teaching approaches, methods and techniques (18.4 %), student and teacher assessment and evaluation (14.5 %) were distinguished as the three top categories of professional development during the COVID-19 era at the department. Together these categories embraced approximately 85 % of all time, spent on professional growth by ESP teachers of the Department of English for Engineering No. 1 at Igor Sikorsky KPI. Other six categories included: connections with other disciplines (6.6 %), academic publications and research issues (4.8 %), international teacher collaboration (2.1 %), student and teacher behavior problems (1.6 %), language issues (0.2 %), curriculum development (0.07 %). The results confirmed the high demand for learning new ICT tools, platforms, and Google services in March-December 2020, the high interest in teaching approaches, methods and techniques, which can be used during the COVID-19 era, and ways to assess and evaluate students’ and teacher’s performance. Webinars, online conferences and online courses turned out to be the most popular forms of professional development of ESP teachers at Igor Sikorsky KPI during March-December 2020. Another discovered trend was the variety of providers of trainings for ESP teachers during the COVID-19 era. The list of them included 37 different organisations, institutes and centers, such as Dinternal education, Training Center Linguist (Cambridge University Press), Educational project “Na urok”, The Ukrainian Institute of Information Technologies in Education, Oxford University Press, Macmillan Education and others
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