Using a school-centred approach, our work in the early years centred on English educator training through the development and provision of courses. While courses provided immense opportunities to develop ELET as a training institution, funding was a constant challenge.

Until 1994, ELET courses were sponsored by UK and USA aid agencies. In 2002, when these agencies re-directed their funding to government-initiated education projects, we took the difficult decision to discontinue courses. However, in 2006, at the request of the Zenex Foundation which was funding a teacher upgrade project in Limpopo, we worked in partnership with the University of KwaZulu-Natal to offer the Advanced Certificate in Education (2006-2008) in that province.

Over the years we also developed a number of short courses including: Democracy in Education; Writing Skills for Business People; reading course for subject advisers and teachers; English as a Foreign Language. 

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English as a Second-Language Educator-Training Course: 

In 1985, although a post graduate course in teaching English as a second language was being offered by some universities in South Africa, there were no courses for undergraduates. In 1986, we approached the British Council for support and enrolled 15 educators on our first English as a second-language course, accredited by the Royal Society of the Arts.

Certificate Course for Oversees Teachers of English – COTE: 

In 1987, the English as a second-language educator-training course was taken over by the University of Cambridge’s Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES) and was renamed the Certificate Course for Oversees Teachers of English. Between 1987 and 1994, over 1 000 educators successfully completed the course which was offered at a local level in 10 centres across South Africa.

Diploma Course for Overseas Teachers of English – DOTE: 

In 1989, ELET was offered an additional, more advanced two-year diploma. Although not officially recognised within the then apartheid South Africa, this course was given official recognition by the University of Natal’s Linguistic Department.

Certificate for English Medium Teachers – CEMT:

In response to requests from mother tongue English educators teaching in multi-racial schools, we designed the Certificate for English Medium Teachers and offered this one-year course for two years.

Diploma in English Language Training – DELT:

This course was offered to lowly qualified teachers to assist them in attaining an M+3 qualification. Over 400 teachers from KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and the Free State registered and most went on to do the National Professional Diploma in Education (NPDE) with the universities.

Advanced Certificate in Education – ACE: 

In 1998, the School of Education at the University of Natal Pietermaritzburg accredited our COTE course, incorporating it on the university’s Further Education Diploma in Education course – later to be nationally accredited as the Advanced Certificate in Education (ACE). In 2006, funded by the Zenex Foundation, ELET registered 19 educators on the Advanced Certificate in Education.

Further Diploma in Education – FDE: 

Between 1999 and 2002, we offered the FDE course to over 400 teachers in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Free State and Eastern Cape.

Conversational isiZulu Courses: 

Since January 2004 we’ve been offering our 30-hour course on conversational isiZulu for beginners. Focused on oral and basic writing skills, students are taught to communicate in isiZulu covering real life situations. Qualified tutors are first language isiZulu speakers who have taught English at tertiary level. 

English Second Language Course for Senior Phase Teachers:

Funded by the Department of Education, this course focused on improving educator’s basic interpersonal and communication skills, as well as their cognitive academic language proficiency skills. We provided training to 200 English Second Language (ESL) Senior Phase educators from 23 districts in the Eastern Cape. Encouraged to become reflective practitioners, educators focused on lesson interrogation, and were supported in lesson planning.

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