Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

ELT Journal


Oxford University Press


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)




This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in ELT Journal following peer review. The version of record Higginbotham, C. (2019). Professional development: Life or death after pre-service training?. ELT Journal, 73(4), 396-408 is available online at: or


Within the ELT profession there has been some discussion regarding the appropriateness of one-month pre-service teacher training courses such as CELTA. These courses are designed on the assumption that graduates will need further support and professional development in their first post. This paper examines the extent to which 115 newly qualified teachers (NQTs) were supported in their first teaching posts and addresses a second concern: Do short, intensive courses encourage trainees to develop reflective-practice skills? The findings suggest that generally NQTs are not well supported in their first teaching posts, nor are they provided with adequate continued professional development by the institutions they work for. This is particularly evident in the teaching of young learners. However, most NQTs felt CELTA had sufficiently prepared them to be able to reflect on their classroom teaching in their first posts, despite some obstacles to reflective practice being raised. © The Author(s) 2019.



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