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The Cambridge English Trainer Framework, developed in collaboration with the Norwich Institute for Language Education (NILE), works alongside the Cambridge English Teaching Framework and aims to:
The framework supports your training and trainer development. It tracks your progression as a trainer across five main categories, each broken down into framework components, and three stages of competency: From Teacher to Trainer, Autonomous Trainer and Lead Trainer.
The framework allows you to progress in a flexible way, based on your individual training development. It can be used for full-time, part-time, and occasional trainers, as well as roles that incorporate some form of training.
As your professional needs change, you can use the framework to profile and identify your development priorities.
From Teacher to Trainer
Conducts training in familiar or predictable situations largely based on the trainer’s own teaching experience.
Deals with predictable individual needs using basic strategies. Demonstrates basic sensitivity to diversity when planning and conducting training.
Conducts training for diverse groups in a variety of situations based on their own and others’ teaching experience.
Plans in advance to deal with individual needs and attempts to deal with emergent needs using a range of strategies. Demonstrates a diversity-oriented approach to planning and conducting training.
Based on thorough advance needs analysis, often in unfamiliar situations, deals efficiently with needs of individuals, including emergent needs, using a wide range of strategies.
Demonstrates deep sensitivity to diversity when planning and conducting training.
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Demonstrates a clear understanding of language systems, including basic language analysis strategies, and core principles of effective teaching practice, which in turn informs their training. Is aware that training differs from teaching.
Demonstrates basic training principles. Uses a limited range of resources.
Understands a number of language analysis strategies. Demonstrates a range of effective core teaching principles and practices. Is aware of non-core teaching practices.
Demonstrates a clear understanding of how training is different from teaching. Demonstrates effective training principles. Uses a wide range of resources.
Uses a wide range of language analysis strategies. Demonstrates a wide range of effective core and non-core teaching principles and practice.
Demonstrates a range of training approaches, in-depth understanding of a wide range of theoretical concepts in the field as well as practical know-how. Uses an extensive range of resources.
Conducts pre-prepared training activities with given materials with support.
Demonstrates a basic ability to plan, conduct and evaluate teacher training activities.
Adapts given training materials for a particular audience appropriately.
Demonstrates a clear and coherent approach to and rationale for planning, conducting and evaluating teacher training activities.
Designs, through principled application and innovation, learning units and courses to meet a wide range of individual needs.
Manages the complex interplay of situational factors related to planning, conducting and evaluating training activities.
Sets up and conducts classroom observations using given tools and procedures.
Offers general feedback on areas for improvement in teaching and suggests basic strategies for teacher learning.
Generally, applies given assessment criteria accurately.
Employs a range of observation methods. Applies given observation tools and procedures appropriately.
Offers specific feedback on areas for improvement. Suggests clear and appropriate strategies for teacher learning. Consistently applies assessment criteria accurately.
Critically appraises given assessment criteria and feeds into their development where necessary.
Creates, through principled application and innovation, tools and procedures for observing and giving feedback.
Nurtures specific needs, including emergent needs, and suggests a wide range of clear and appropriate strategies for teacher learning.
Researches assessment tool effectiveness and develops assessment criteria for specific situations.
Uses beliefs about own teaching practice to inform training values and practice.
Responds positively to feedback on their training and demonstrates basic understanding of trainer and teacher-in-training roles in the training process.
Is aware of resources available to support trainer professional development.
Uses own and others’ teaching practice and beliefs as a basis for reflection and developing training values and practice.
Seeks feedback on their own training and demonstrates good understanding of trainer and teacher-in-training roles in the training process.
Is actively exploring avenues for their own development and specialisation within the field of teacher training.
Exemplifies own values and clearly defined beliefs through training practice. Acknowledges diverse viewpoints and encourages the articulation of emerging beliefs of teachers-in-training
Builds feedback on their own training into the training process and demonstrates a deep understanding of trainer and teacher-in-training roles.
Uses contemporary research and critical reflection to continue own professional development while supporting others in developing appropriate specialisms.
Cambridge English Trainer Framework introduction
Cambridge English Trainer Framework
Cambridge English Trainer Framework Summary
By reading each category and descriptor, and matching them to your current practice, you or your organisation can work out where you are on the framework and identify areas to strengthen and develop.
The first stage, From Teacher to Trainer, shows a learning process and how to gain basic skills. The second stage, Autonomous Trainer, shows the development of a trainer to the point where they have become proficient in basic training skills. They show that they are taking steps to extend their practical skills, including adapting training materials to better suit trainee needs. The third stage, Lead Trainer, indicates the leadership role that teachers involved in training often take on.
It is not expected that you would eventually be able to meet all the criteria in the Lead Trainer stage, or that if you have From Teacher to Trainer competencies you will be given Autonomous Trainer or Lead Trainer responsibilities. The framework is designed to allow you to meet different levels of the categories and component criteria across the three stages, based on your individual training journey and development. Therefore, there is no specific timeframe for each development stage.
The Cambridge English Trainer Framework was developed with the experience of Cambridge English and NILE. Cambridge English has extensive experience of developing and evaluating train the trainer programmes for trainers involved in delivering its teacher qualifications. As an employer and organisation that trains trainers on a regular basis, NILE has a unique perspective on how trainers develop and what indicators signal different development stages.
The framework was developed and informed through a wide-ranging review of relevant literature and a consideration of the skills demonstrated by individuals in different trainer roles across the world.
The framework has been designed to apply equally to online and face-to-face trainers. It has been developed with the approach that identifies no difference in the core training competencies required, with any differences being merely the access to technology, the mode of delivery and the technical ability of the online trainer.
The framework acknowledges that core and non-core teaching principles and practice should be defined based on local practice, and that this varies depending on the situation. It will also constantly change. A trainer should be aware of other methodologies available to language teachers-in-training and any new trends emerging.
The following summaries describe a typical trainer profile for each of the three Cambridge English Trainer Framework stages. Find more information on the Proficient and Expert levels of our Cambridge English Teaching Framework.
Sasha is a Proficient classroom teacher. His colleagues recognise that he has a solid understanding of the local socio-cultural and economic realities of his working environment and the students, parents and teachers within it.
Over the last couple of years, he has given demonstration lessons for teachers in many schools. The local education authority has asked him to conduct training sessions for other local teachers. Sasha is comfortable demonstrating methods he uses regularly in his own classroom. He is aware that there is a difference between teaching and training. He has a basic repertoire of training skills, such as presenting new ideas, being able to demonstrate new teaching practices accurately, and encouraging reflection.
He mentors and supports teachers according to criteria received from the local authorities and gives them advice based on his own experience. He is aware that there are gaps between teacher beliefs, values and their practices. He has a clear understanding of his own teaching beliefs and values built on several years’ practice, and can articulate these.
He has used the resources of the local English language teaching association and has attended its conferences a few times. He actively seeks out opportunities to discuss his beliefs and values with others and seeks feedback on his own teaching and training practice. He is aware of different specialisms in the field.
Ayesha is a highly Proficient to Expert classroom teacher. She has also been training teachers for a number of years and is highly regarded as an accomplished practitioner. She acknowledges the diversity across the situation she has been training in, and adapts her training to suit the needs of individual groups of teachers. She is becoming aware that needs have arisen during her courses that were not identified through the initial needs analysis. She has been adding her own training materials to meet the needs of certain groups of teachers. She is becoming aware of different training approaches and is trying to incorporate them into her training.
She is very experienced in using the local teaching standards as the basis for observation. She observes using a number of different tools and is adept at identifying gaps between teachers’ practice and their beliefs and values. Ayesha identifies strategies for development for the observees and gives them guidance on how to go about changing their teaching practice to better meet the standards and their own beliefs about what enables effective learning.
Ayesha has started a motivating discussion group for teachers in her school to help teachers share ideas. She has presented a couple of times at a national teacher organisation conference and is interested in becoming more involved. She is looking at areas within which to specialise.
Julia is a highly experienced trainer who is recognised by her peers as an authority on English language teaching and training. She has planned and conducted numerous training sessions for groups of teachers and has a broad repertoire of training methods.
Her training sessions blend a wide range of theories and practices, enabling her course participants to choose the methods they think will best suit their own situation. When designing courses she analyses the needs of the individuals in detail. Julia is adept at noticing needs that may not be apparent at the beginning of the course, but emerge as the training progresses. She adapts her courses and training methods to meet these fluctuating needs, and is able to balance the course content in response to varying demands of participants.
When Julia observes classes, her post-observation discussion with the observed teacher involves insightful analysis of practice, beliefs and the level of consistency between them. While she usually tries to elicit ways forward from the observee, she also offers a range of concrete suggestions and strategies for development. She often identifies talented teachers and helps them to specialise in an area.
Julia is considered by others as a constructive, involving presence, and her views are always acknowledged as balanced. She regularly presents at her national teacher organisation conference, and has recently taken up a leadership role in a local teacher support group.
Train the Trainer is a face-to-face course for teachers to develop the knowledge and skills they need in order to train other English language teachers working in primary and secondary schools. They learn how to run training sessions, observe teaching and give feedback.
The course is offered to groups of experienced teachers, and is only available through employers and teaching organisations.
Find out more about Train the Trainer.