Topic Focus

To explore the topic of mentoring in ELT.

30 minutes

Mentoring is a key area in professional development, both within ELT teacher training and in other fields. In this topic, we will look more closely at what it means to be a mentor.

Task 1: What is mentoring?

Think first
Suggested answer
What do you understand by ‘mentoring’? Who is a ‘mentor’? Who is a ‘mentee’?

Mentoring involves two individuals working together to support each other in the process of professional development. In contrast to more traditional supervision roles, where there might be an unequal relationship (e.g. between a boss and an employee), the mentor-mentee relationship takes place between two trusted colleagues and is purely supportive. Although the mentor might have more experience than the mentee, their role is to offer guidance without any evaluation or judgement.

Task 2: Your experience

Have you had any experience of a mentoring scheme, either as a mentor or a mentee? If so, how did it work? What did you gain from it?

Task 3: Learning from an expert

You are going to listen to Gabriel Diaz Maggioli, co-author of the Cambridge whitepaper ‘Effective professional development: principles and best practice’ talking about mentoring.

As you listen, make notes to answer the following questions:

  • Why is mentoring important?
  • What are some of the qualities of a good mentor?
Do you agree with the points made in the video? Would you add anything else?

Task 4: Examples of mentoring in practice

Read about three different ways in which different types of mentoring models have been implemented. 

Have you taken on any of these roles before? If not, do you think any of them would/could work in your context? What barriers might there be?

Task 5: Reflection

Think about what you have learnt about mentoring in this topic.

If you have not worked as a mentor before, do you think this is an area you would like to get into? Why/Why not? If yes, how could you go about this?
If you are already involved with mentoring, or a mentoring programme is offered where you work, are there any ways in which you feel you could now develop the mentoring scheme?