Cambridge English Teacher Development Tracker

It is hard to be in the ELT industry and not be familiar with Cambridge English! Once called Cambridge ESOL, Cambridge English are famous for their CELTA, Delta and many other internationally recognised and globally respected ELT qualifications for teachers at different stages of their professional life. Cambridge English Teacher website has been offering membership schemes, courses, webinars, articles and many more to those interested in professional development for some years and they have recently introduced the Cambridge English Teaching Framework.

What is it?

It is a development framework which divides teaching competency into 5 categories, across 4 stages of development.

The Categories are:

  1. Learning and the learner
  2. Teaching, learning and assessment
  3. Language ability
  4. Language knowledge and awareness
  5. Professional development and values

And the four development stages are:

  1. Foundation
  2. Developing
  3. Proficient
  4. Expert


What does it do?

It helps teachers think about where they are now and where they would like to go next.

Who is it for?

It has been designed, on a global perspective, for almost anyone who is in the academic side of the industry; from teachers to teacher trainers, directors of studies and academic managers.

How does it work?

There are five challenges you can sign up and work on. It is completely free and each challenge only needs 1 or 2 hours per week for you to work on. Once you sign up for one of the following challenges, the system sends you an e-mail and your professional development starts:

  • create a professional development plan that works for you
  • find new ways to motivate your learners
  • find new ways to identify and correct your learners’ mistakes
  • be more confident using digital resources
  • grow your confidence using English in class

E-mails might contain articles to read, videos to watch, new ideas to try in your classroom and tasks to complete and reflect on.

After you complete each challenge, you will be given a Record of Achievement that you can add to your portfolio. Cambridge ESOL previously had teacher portfolios but they stopped them a couple of years ago and now with the new system, it is easy to set up your professional portfolio again, link it to your Cambridge English Teachers membership, track other teachers or even ask someone to review your development. It seems that Cambridge English have decided to develop something which can perform as the teachers’ digital portfolio at work as well.

Where can I start?

Check the Development Tracker website and set up your account in the easiest way, as it only needs an e-mail address, your name, your school’s name and your location!


After creating your account you can answer the questions in the assessment categories to determine where you are now:


Once you answer the questions, you can click on print to have a hard copy of your self-assessed profile according to the Cambridge English Teaching Framework. Then you can compare your profile with the teacher development map to see which Cambridge Teaching Qualification suits you best:


And finally, this is where you can sign up for the 5 challenges to receive e-mails to help you move forward:

5 Teaching Challenges

Are there similar frameworks from other ELT organisations?

British Council has had their own CPD framework for teacher for some years but they are renovating the whole system and the new one is not yet available on their website but Paul Braddock, British Council TeachingEnglish Web Manager, in an interview at the IATEFL 2015 mentioned that the new CPD framework will consist of 12 development blocks which can be completed by teachers in any order. It seems that the British Council has developed a non-linear professional development programme for English teachers to help them focus on what they primarily believe they need more help with.


Click on the link below to watch a video on the British Council CPD Framework:

journey of an English Language Teacher

Bottom line

No one can deny the importance of reflective practice in the teaching profession and all these websites and programmes are meant to help teachers find where they are, where they want to get to, and how they can personally sign-post the route and reach their goals. These teaching frameworks always remind of this famous quotation:

By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. (Confucius)

Further resources:


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