Nexus: A Journal for Teachers in Development
October 1998 Issue
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Editor's Message

By Susan L. Schwartz

Welcome to the first issue of "Nexus,"a new annual electronic journal devoted to teacher training, development, and education.  What do those terms mean?  I would like to share with you my definitions so you may understand what I mean when I use those terms, because after posting that question to TESL-L, the electronic discussion list for ESL/EFL teachers, I saw from the responses received that there was no unanimously agreed-upon definition for each term.

In the past, I used "teacher training" and "teacher development" interchangeably, and used"teacher education" as an umbrella term encompassing both of the other phrases.  To me, "teacher training" referred to a teacher being taught how to do something by someone (a trainer) with expertise in a particular area or areas.  "Teacher development" implied improving the skills that a teacher already possessed.  I thought of "teacher education" as a general, all-purpose term that included everything involved in the training and development of teaching professionals.  Like teacher training, teacher development and teacher education were conducted by people--developers, educators--who were experienced in training teachers to be (better) teachers.  Although I preferred the term "teacher education," I frequently used the term "teacher training" instead, as that seemed to be more familiar to most people.  My goal for this journal is that it be a resource for people who are engaged in helping teachers become better teachers.

I decided to name this journal "Nexus: A Journal for Teachers in Development" for two reasons.  First, a nexus is a link or a connected group, and I would like this journal to be a connection between people interested in the education of teachers of English to speakers of other languages (ESOL).  Also, I intentionally used the word "development" to connote an on-going process of education and because many ESOL teachers work in developing countries.  It is my hope that this journal will in a small way provide useful information to everyone involved in furthering the profession of English language teaching.

The first article in this issue deals with, most appropriately, distance education.  Mercedes Rossetti discusses the characteristics that are necessary to be a good teacher in distance education programs.  In his article, Paolo Rossetti (no relation) describes a presentation on using the Internet that he designed for teachers at a conference in Italy while he himself was in Canada.  Steven Schofield explains why teachers should use authentic video in their classes and examines several factors that teachers should take into consideration when selecting videos to use.  The next article, by Baobin Zhao, describes the college or university programs that secondary school teachers in China must complete in order to become qualified teachers.  The last article, which I wrote, is a review of a textbook that deals with training teachers of English to use communicative techniques.

The next issue of "Nexus" will be published in November 1999.  To submit articles for consideration, please email them to me at <nexusjournal@earthlink.net> by July 31, 1999; write "Nexus--Submission" in the Subject line.  To request the guidelines for submission, write to me at the above address and put "Nexus--Request for Guidelines" in the Subject line.  I would appreciate any feedback about the journal and am especially interested in any suggestions for how I may improve it.  Again, write to me at the above address and put "Nexus--Feedback" in the Subject line.  Please feel free to share this issue with your colleagues; if they would like a free subscription, just tell them to write to the same address and, in the Subject line, write "Nexus--Subscription Request."

I hope you enjoy the journal.

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1)  Distance Education in English Teaching, by Mercedes Rossetti

2)  Distance Teacher Training: A Virtual Tour of the Internet from an EFL Teacher's Perspective, by Paolo Rossetti

3)  Selecting Authentic Video for the Adult EFL Classroom, by Steven Schofield

4)  Training Teachers for Secondary School English Teaching in China, by Baobin Zhao

5)  Book Review:  Teach English, by Adrian Doff; Reviewed by Susan L. Schwartz

Click here to read the articles

Volume 1, Issue 1, October 1998 

                                            NEXUS   ISSN 1521-1894
                                            Copyright 2007