Generalists or Specialists?

Are we living in a world of ‘generalists’ or ‘specialists’?

There has recently been a long debate on this and many have accepted that we are now living in a world of ‘versatilists’ rather than ‘generalists’ or ‘specialists’. (However, you might still argue this and there are still things to be discussed.)

The term “versatilist” was first coined in an article from Gartner- the American information technology research and advisory firm, where it states:

“Versatilists are able to apply a depth of skill to a progressively widening scope of situations and experiences, equally at ease with technical issues as with business strategy.”

The wide range of interdisciplinary university courses in recent years shows that we are moving towards a world of professionals who can switch to another role with the same ease. These courses first came to existence in the world of engineering where they started to be ‘mechatronic’ engineers rather than only ‘mechanical’ or ‘electronic’ engineers to find solutions to the new problems the society had!

How about the ELT community? Do we need to develop versatility in our profession? Or are we just supposed to teach and train and leave the rest of the job to professionals who have specialised in other fields? Should a manager of an LTO be someone with management qualifications or and ELT practitioner with years of classroom experience or both? Or none?!

One of these necessary combinations seems to be that of ‘English Language Teaching’ and ‘Management’ (along with ‘technology design’ and ‘ELT’ with I will address separately here).

We now have M.A.’s in ELTM and the Cambridge Delta has an ELTM Option for Module 3 which both show the importance of versatilists in our field of professionality as well.

Many of us complete initial teacher training courses before we start teaching but do we complete any formal management training once we have had enough teaching and want to start managing something ELT-related?

I will be discussing ELT Management topics which should be of your interest if you planning to do an ELTM-oriented CPD in the future to move forward and change your role but need to slow down at the turn and learn the necessary skills (examples include an M.A. in Educational Management, ELT Management Certificates and Diplomas, Cambridge Delta Module Three- the ELTM Option, IDLTM, DoS short courses, etc.).

Watch this space.


The posts which carry the ‘proeltELTMSIG‘ tag are transferred here from the ‘ELT Management SIG’ during Pro-ELT2 (2014-2015) with the British Council in Malaysia. If you think anything is missing or I have copied any articles, images, comments, etc. which belong to you and I have mistakenly forgotten to mention the owner or the  contributor or have violated any copyright regulations, please do get in touch and I will make the necessary changes.

Photo Credit: https://stocksnap.io/photo/452NGOW1OZ
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