IH Journal of Education and Development

IH Journal Issues:

Introducing the New International House Course: The Certificate in Advanced Methodology (CAM)

Who is it for?

The Certificate in Advanced Methodology (CAM) is the new International House course aimed at two principal markets:

  • Those teachers looking for a high level of methodological input for reasons of personal self-development to enable them to become more informed and reflective practitioners.
  • Those teachers who are specifically aiming at a Diploma level qualification such as the Cambridge DELTA and are looking for input towards the new DELTA Module 1.

It achieves this dual purpose by offering a menu of sessions. At the time of writing, the Cambridge DELTA is being revised and we will not know the format of the Module 1 written exam until the summer. As a result of this, the CAM course is now restricted to 25 modules with the extra Diploma-focused modules to be available as an add-on course later in the year. Each participant on the course will have to complete 20 out of the 25 modules to be awarded the certificate, although anyone can, of course, cover more than this number. Depending on the revisions from Cambridge, the course will go a long way towards helping candidates prepare for DELTA Module 1 – more on this as the year progresses.

The aims of the course
The main aims are three-fold:

  • To develop teachers’ theoretical knowledge of teaching and so make them more informed practitioners.
  • To develop teachers’ practical teaching ability and develop their self-analytical skills to make them more reflective practitioners.
  • To raise teachers’ awareness of what they can expect from a Diploma level course and explicitly prepare them to take the written component.

Beyond this, there are many subsidiary aims, all contributing to the main ones outlined above. These include developing the abilities initially fostered on CELTA or IHC courses, developing participants’ study skills and their ability to critically read articles and make appropriate selections from published works, encouraging their reflection on past and current practice, encouraging professional debate amongst teachers from across the IH network, providing participants with a historical perspective and encouraging more experimentation and eclecticism in the classroom.

Participant requirements
The CAM is the most advanced of the courses which make up the IH Advanced Teaching Award, the in-house Continuing Professional Development pathway, and is also intended, as noted above, to prepare participants for the DELTA (which can be taken by teachers with only two years experience) or other Diploma-level courses. As such, participants are expected to meet the following criteria:

  • They are practising teachers with either a CELTA or International House Certificate qualification.
  • They have a minimum of one year’s full-time experience (600 clock hours) of teaching adults in a recognised environment (i.e. an IH school or one with similar in-house teacher development programmes).
  • They have access, during the course, to a range of General English adult classes, preferably at a variety of levels (at least two from elementary, intermediate and advanced). This is to allow for the required classroom-based action research.
  • They have a language level of at least C1 on the Council of Europe Framework of Reference for Languages to enable them to follow the course input material.
  • They have access to a suitable library of methodological books and regular access to a computer with good internet access. This is particularly relevant if, as envisaged, many participants take the course online.

How long is the course?
As mentioned above, each participant will be required to complete 20 modules. Each module involves pre-reading, a 90-minute input session (or online alternative) and a series of homework tasks or assignments. Input time will therefore be 30 hours with another 30 hours at least needed for pre-session reading, homework, classroom-based action research and a final reflective task or teaching assignment.

Course delivery
The course will be available in both face-to-face and online formats. The face-to-face version will be available on a CD-ROM with the full set of participants’ pre-session reading and trainer’s note complete with all handouts. The online version will be run on either Blackboard or Moodle with an IHWO trainer.

Because of the experiential nature of the course and the amount of action research, reading and homework involved, an intensive version of one or two weeks is not seen as feasible. The best option for delivery is one session a week over 20 weeks but that is not to rule out the possibility of two sessions a week over 10 weeks or even one session a fortnight over an academic year.

Course components

  • 20 x 90 minute input sessions (or online alternative).
  • Pre-session reading (session-specific texts, books, articles, web-based research).
  • Post-session reading (books, articles, web-based research).
  • Observation of peers / academic managers in their schools.
  • Lesson planning and delivery with self-observation, peer observation or Director of Studies observation.
  • Classroom-based action research.
  • Materials design and in-class experimentation with them.
  • Reflections on the course and on their teaching in the form of an ongoing journal.
  • A 1000 word assignment on an area of language or skills and a lesson plan detailing how an aspect of the selected area would be taught – this lesson is self-observed.
  • Either: (for participants targeting a Diploma course) a full assignment involving research into an area of language or skills and an observed lesson which helps learners in the target area.
  • Or: (for participants not intending to take a Diploma course) a reflective essay at the end of the course on what they have learned and how their teaching has developed, plus an observed lesson.

Course content
There are six strands on the course including CELTA-revision (4 modules), Teaching and Learning (3), Study Skills (3), Language Skills (5), Language and Materials (4), Theories of Learning and Teaching (4), plus the opening and closing modules (2).

Who are the tutors?
Online tutors will be taken from our list of DELTA-qualified IH Certificate in Online Tutoring (IHCOLT) graduates but there will be opportunities for Academic Managers from across the network to get involved, either as local support and observers for those participants taking the online version, or as trainers of a face-to-face course in their own school. To be approved as a CAM tutor, a teacher / manager needs to be DELTA-qualified (or equivalent) and have some experience of running training courses or development sessions face-to-face. They also need at least 4 years teaching experience at a range of levels and preferably in a variety of contexts. As with the participants, they also need access to the Internet and a wide range of resources (coursebook and reference). Further information for prospective trainers is available from Shaun Wilden (address below).

When will the course be available?
The face-to-face CD-ROM with the 25 modules will be available in summer 2008 and can be ordered from Anna Ingram: anna.ingram@ihworld.co.uk. She will also give you details of the costs involved.

The first online version will start in May. The cost for IH teachers will be 150 GBP; non-IH teachers can also take the course at a cost of 300 GBP. Further information and an application form are available from Shaun Wilden: shaun.wilden@ihworld.co.uk.
Any other questions relating to the course should be emailed to Mike Cattlin: mike.cattlin@ihworld.co.uk. A Diploma-specific add-on course will be available later in the year.


Author’s Bio:
Mike Cattlin is a CELTA / DELTA trainer and assessor and has also worked on a number of IH courses such as the IHC, the Business English Teaching course (BET 1), the 1-2-1 Methodology Course and the Certificate In Online Tutoring (COLT). Having been Academic Co-ordinator and then Teacher Training Co-ordinator for IHWO, he is now working on Special Projects for the world organisation, the first and foremost of which Is the new Certificate In Advanced Methodology (CAM).

Similar Articles: