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Putting Together a Development Plan

CPD and the Cambridge English Teaching Framework: Guide for Teachers

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Cambridge English Teacher © Cambridge University Press and Cambridge English Language Assessment 2015 1
Putting Together a Development Plan
A development plan is a document that shows the aims that a teacher has, the specific activities that the
teacher intends to do to achieve a given aim and when they intend to do the activities. Plans make
development goals more manageable for teachers, trainers and academic management.

Types of Activities to Consider


There are many kinds of activities you could consider as part of a development plan. Some of these will be
available to you already in your school or institution. In nearly all cases we offer equivalent types of material
online from Cambridge English Teacher (CET).

Activities Available Online from CET

Reading/Watching
Articles, journals, books, videos, magazines, Articles, Bookshelf, Talks
internet resources, recorded webinars, etc.

Events
Webinars (Live/Replay),
Seminars, webinars, conferences, workshops,
teachSTEP Web Conference
development meetings, etc.
Input

Studying
15–25 hour online courses with certificates
Short or long courses, qualifications, etc.

Sharing Experience
Discussions, LinkedIn Group, Teacher Training
Discussions, mentoring, team-teaching, running
Tasks
workshops, writing blogs, etc.

Reflection
Consultant Advice Forums, Online Journal, Peer
Peer or self-observation, feedback, writing for
Observation Tasks
journals, running workshops, etc.
Participatory

Exploration
Action research, classroom experimentation with
Teaching Tasks
new teaching materials and/or new classroom
approaches (e.g. CLIL, Business English), etc.

It is most effective to use a combination of input and participatory activities. Of course, these are only loosely
distinguished. Some activities, such as participation in workshops or live webinars, may combine these two
elements.

Deciding What’s Valuable to You


With so many options, you need to select the right activities for you in terms of:

 Is the topic relevant to the broad goals I decided on?


 Is the material at the right level for my stage of development?
 Is the material high-quality and from a reliable source?
 What are the time requirements and can I meet them?

Cambridge English Teacher © Cambridge University Press and Cambridge English Language Assessment 2015 1
Guide to the Cambridge English Teaching Framework Putting Together a Development Plan

Selecting Material from CET


On CET, all the material is organised using the categories and stages of the Cambridge English Teaching
Framework. Materials also have a number of topic-based tags. This means you can:

1. Find What’s Relevant


o Select the Framework category or component in which you want to improve or
o Browse the topic tags or
o Search for a topic by keyword. Then

2. Find What’s Appropriate


o Filter the list for items at the Framework stage by what is appropriate for you. For instance:
 If you’re at the Developing stage in a particular category, you might want to look at
materials at either the Developing or Proficient stages.
 Materials at Foundation stage may be too basic for you but you may want to have a quick
look in case these are valuable as a refresher.

Organising Activities into a Plan


Once you’ve selected what looks relevant and appropriate for you, you need to put these into a meaningful
order and give each activity a realistic deadline. You should consider:

1. Set a schedule
You should decide first how much time you’re going to use for development and when. For instance,
you could say you’ll look at two things per week on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

2. What goes together?


You may like to group materials by related topics. This will allow you to develop your understanding in
a focused way with each new item. Consider which items will build on top of other items. For instance,
any items marked as Foundation should go first.

Use these two considerations to create a plan document.

Creating a Plan Document


Your plan document should include:

 The category of the Framework you are focusing on (if appropriate).

Download our guide for teachers: Understanding Where You Are

 Your goals which the plan will help you to achieve.

Download our guide for teachers: Plan Your Development Goals

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Guide to the Cambridge English Teaching Framework Putting Together a Development Plan

 The time period of the plan.


 A list of the specific activities that you will do as part of the plan. Each line should include:
o What the activity is and (ideally) an idea of how long it will take.
o When (roughly) you intend to do the activity.
 Space for your thoughts and reflections, having done the activity:
o Space to write how you will put what you’ve learnt into practice.
o Space to reflect on the idea and its application later on.

You can see an example of a short development plan on the next page.

Cambridge English Teacher © Cambridge University Press and Cambridge English Language Assessment 2015 3
Development Plan

Name A. N. Example Period July 2015

Organisation My Teaching Organisation Trainer M. Scott

Framework Category and Goals


Category Teaching, Learning and Assessment
1. Write new vocabulary on the board in a more effective way.

2. Find out about effective classroom management techniques.

3. Involve more of my learners in my large Intermediate class.

4.

5.

Material/Activity When I’ll do it How I’ll apply it Reflection

Read Writing New Vocabulary on the Week1 Discuss with colleagues. My students copied my board work exactly – it was far
Board more organised than usual!

Discuss article at staff training session Week 2 Use new techniques with Elementary group.

Watch teachSTEP 2015: What Makes a Week 3 Try out new ideas over the next 5 weeks, before my
Good Teacher? (1h) next formal observation.

Attend Teaching Association event. Week 4 Share with colleagues on Thursday and consider
how to apply ideas.

Read Engaging More Learners Week 5 Try this with Intermediate class.

Cambridge English Teacher © Cambridge University Press and Cambridge English Language Assessment 2015
Guide to the Cambridge English Teaching Framework Putting Together a Development Plan

Using the Template


The template can be downloaded as a Word document (.DOCX). You will need Microsoft Word 2007 or later
to edit it. Alternatively, you can download a blank version and fill it out with a pen. We recommend using
Word, if you can, as this allows you to insert links.

Download the Word version of the Development Plan Template

Download the blank version of the Development Plan Template

Using Word
When using Word, you can type in the boxes to fill out your plan. However, if you are selecting materials from
the CET website, you can follow this process to easily create a plan with links, which you can click on later
to return to the right resource.

1. Follow the advice above to narrow down a list of


items on the website.
2. Open individual items in separate tabs if you want
to read their descriptions further.

3. When you’ve decided on an item you want to


include in your plan:
a. From the list view, select the title of the item.
b. Copy it (Ctrl+C / Cmd+C).

4. Back in the Development Plan document:


a. Go to the next line.
b. Paste (Ctrl+V / Cmd+V).
5. This will add the title of the item as a link.
6. Follow this link later on to open up the page for
that resource, so you can download/access it.

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Guide to the Cambridge English Teaching Framework Putting Together a Development Plan

Following Your Plan

Time spent creating a good plan is less time wasted


when following it later on.

If you’ve followed this series of guides, you should have created a realistic and meaningful plan that you’ll
want to follow. Possibly the most crucial step is setting a schedule you know you can keep to. Remember:

 Keep to your schedule – make it a habit.


 If you lapse from your schedule, get back onto it as soon as possible!
 Get support from your colleagues (especially if they are also following development plans) so you’re
not on your own.

The Next Step


On finishing your plan, you may want a way to assess how you’ve done and a way to record your
achievements.

Download our guide for teachers: Assessing Your Development

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© Cambridge University Press and Cambridge English Language Assessment 2015