Interview with NEAS Australia Education Manager, Rima Ibrahim

What is your vision for Quality Assurance in ELT and where do you see NEAS’ role in maintaining quality within the ELT sector?

Quality Assurance (QA) is indispensable for maintaining the standards of ELT Institutions and for supporting the ongoing development of the sector. A well-established ELT QA Framework sets the quality standards, supports management, and builds students’ and agents’ confidence with the school, the services and courses.

Being a major player since 1992, NEAS has set the foundation for ELT QA through ongoing intensive consultation with English language professionals in Australia and overseas. The NEAS QA Framework is designed to maintain the highest standards in meeting regulatory and legislative requirements while ensuring products and services are sound and are guided by best practices. I have personally relied on the NEAS QA Framework to prepare new courses, quality reviews and accreditation activities.

I see NEAS as a pillar in ELT Quality Assurance, through its commitment to quality and the ongoing provision of quality endorsement services, professional development, as well as providing an extensive range of support services to ELT accredited institutions and members in Australia and overseas.

What is your view on Professional Development in ELT?

Professional Development is extremely important for the ongoing development of the ELT community. Whether you are a manager, a teacher or a member of the student support team, participating in professional development can boost your skills and help build confidence.

I advise ELT members to actively pursue PD opportunities that help improve target skills and to keep up with new trends. If you are looking for ways to learn new skills or to take up a new role within the industry, be assured that participating in Professional Development can help you reach the next step in your career.

Can you tell us about NEAS professional Development activities for 2022?

NEAS has established a thorough PD timetable designed to target the needs of the sector, in addition to a set of free online courses, Specialisation Courses and Master Practitioner Courses available via NEAS Online. This is in addition to the NEAS Management Conference in May and the Workshop Series aimed at offshore delivery in Thailand and Vietnam. These are great Professional Development opportunities for Managers, teachers and services staff.

I also recommend applying to be listed a NEAS ELT Professional, a recognised expert in English Language Teaching. ELT professionals are acknowledged through their commitment to professional development and are listed on the NEAS website. This is a great way to keep track of your professional development activities and all of your CPD points.

What advice would you give to Academic Managers?

My advice for Academic Managers is to focus on building a culture of consistent improvement, to value feedback from teachers, staff and students, and to always monitor and review courses, processes and procedures.

Make sure your teachers are made aware of all the professional development opportunities, and always encourage staff to participate in professional development activities, this will boost their confidence and increase their engagement and productivity.

What advice would you give to Teachers?

I advise teachers to identify their own Professional Development needs and not to be shy to ask their Academic Manager for professional development. Make sure you check the NEAS website for PD and online courses.

Connect with your students and foster an interactive and comfortable learning environment whether face to face or online.

Ongoing feedback is crucial for student progress, so provide your students with ongoing formal and informal feedback, check for understanding and make things visual.

And finally, be adaptable and ready to accept new ways of delivery. The current pandemic has forced the sector to accept new ways of teaching and learning and there may be new demands in the future.