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                                    Men and Women
Women can be as like as men. Do you agree with this statement? Why and why not?
Yes, I do agree with this statement. Our rebel poet Kazi Nazrul Islam sang the song of equality in his Women Poem. I sing the song of equality, In my view, there is no disparity between man and woman. Everything that is a great creation and beneficial forever, half of it is created by man and another half by woman.
Sins, sufferings, pains and tears that have come on earth, men have borne half of them and women the rest. From the above lines, we can easily understand the contribution of men and women in century to century. Men are not inferior to women and women also are not inferior to men anyway. Both are complementary to each other.
 Men do their respective duties. On the other hand, women also do their respective duties. None duties are less important. If a father bears the cost of a child to bring up, a mother bears a child 10 months in her belly. Nothing is less important.
We know the human body can bear only up to 45 Del (units) of pain. Yet at the time of giving birth, a mother feels up to 57 Del of pain. This is similar to 20 bones getting fractured at the same time. This cannot be compared to anything. This is above the comparison.
 In our society, we measure the value of human beings in terms of earnings. We wrongly considered men superior to women in terms of earnings. Can we measure the 57 Del of pain in terms of money? This is truly immeasurable.
 There are some specific reasons for which I claim women can be as like as men:- Usage of Brain: Research found that men tend to use one side of their brain particularly the left side for verbal reasoning while women tend to use both cerebral areas for visual, verbal and emotional responses.
These differences in brain use cause a difference in behavior between men and women. Women tend to be better at sensing emotional messages in conversations, gestures and facial expressions.
Women start to speak and read at an earlier age than men. Women are generally better in verbal skills such as learning a different language. They tend to have better grasp on grammar and spelling and women have better handwriting than men do.
 Reaction to Pressure:- Men and women have different reactions to stress, both physically and mentally. They attempt managing stress in very different ways and also perceive their ability to do so.
 Findings suggest that while women are more likely to report physical symptoms associated with stress, they are doing a better job connecting with others in their lives and at times, these connections are important to their stress management strategies.
Work Perfection: Women in the corporate world are more likely to be perfectionists and heavily self-critical than their male counterparts. According to the results of a survey in Australia, 33 percent of women in corporate workplaces had high perfectionism scores, compared to 21 percent of men.
Looking at self-criticism, 44 percent of women exhibited this trait, compared to 34 percent of male respondents.
Managerial Role:  In 2019, 29% of senior management roles are held by women, the highest number ever on record. • 87% of global businesses have at least one woman in a senior management role in 2019.
The proportion of women in senior leadership differs by role:  43% of human resources directors are women compared to 17% of sales directors and 16% of chief information officers.
Leadership: Women are not lack behind in leadership than men. Many women led and still leading from the front in many countries. • Sheikh Hasina Wajed, Prime Minister of Bangladesh • Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Prime Minister of Denmark • Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand • Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany • Cristina Fern├índez de Kirchner, President of Argentina • Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil • Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia • Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia • Sheikh Hasina Wajed, Prime Minister of Bangladesh • Johanna Sigurdardottir, Prime Minister of Iceland • Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica • Tarja Halonen, President of Finland • Dalia Grybauskaite, President of Lithuania • Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.
 Development Skills: According to a statistics, European and American senior-level executives agree that women have more developed skills associated with encouraging and supporting, while men are considered better at decision-making and problem-solving. Men are associated with leadership qualities, and many employees think of men as of those who can be in charge.
 From this aforesaid discussion we can say that nowadays women are nowhere behind from men rather they are working shoulder to shoulder with men to make this earth a better place to live in. No achievement is possible in this earth without the merit, labor, integrity and Excellency of women.
Thus, we can say women can contribute as like as men. 

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  Teacher Professional Development
 What is Teacher Professional Development (TPD) ? How do Head Teachers contribute to the TPD? How do the practices of EIA ensuring the TPD?
TPD: Professional development is a continuous process. To be a successful teacher, a teacher must put emphasis on professional development.  For a teacher, professional development is very important.
Professional development refers to the development of a person in his or her professional role. Professional workshops and other formally related meetings are a part of the professional development experience. Professional development is defined as a growth that occurs through the professional cycle of a teacher.
Teacher professional development involves its relationship to student achievement. Researchers differ on the degree of this relationship. Variables are the school, teacher, student level related to the level of learning within the classroom , parent and community involvement, instructional strategies, classroom management, curriculum design, student background knowledge and student motivation .
Based upon a review of several studies, professional development activities experienced by teachers have a similar impact on student achievement to those of the aforementioned variables.
Opportunities for active learning, content knowledge and the overall coherence of staff development are the top three characteristics of professional development. There is a set of nine standards for professional development. They include content knowledge and quality teaching, research-basis, collaboration, diverse learning needs, student learning environments, family involvement, evaluation, data-driven design and teacher learning.
Training is defined as activity leading to skilled behavior. Fire fighters, police officers and soldiers are trained. Training is associated with providing service to the community. Which is certainly what teachers do. Training is about developing skill and teaching is clearly a skill.
A teacher’s job is stressful. It is hard for a teacher to manage a classroom of (sometimes unruly, always attention-demanding) students. A teacher must apply learning under stressful conditions.
Professional development is more respectful and clearly conveys that teachers are knowledge-workers. Training is also an appropriate term that recognizes the skilled service that teachers provide and the hard, stressful job that they have in responding to many students need.
Teachers need to be both trained and developed. Development in terms of implementing curriculum or developing differentiated lessons. Then trained in managing classrooms.
Training suggests one-way communication. It suggests that there is a trainer and a trainee. Professional development has many forms. One of the most effective ones is a more bi-directional conversation and exploration. For example, teacher study group can be a form of professional development. Also, effective workshops and coaching sessions are not just about presenting information, but about asking teachers to brainstorm about ideas and figure out the strategies that best work for their students . Professional development is a part of most professional settings. Often teachers perceive professional development as something they have to complete according to contracts, but professional development is something that all teacher should want to participate in. We as educators encourage our students to continually learn and become lifelong learner. So teacher must be a lifelong learner. Taking online course, participating in trainings and watching colleagues teaching, peer discussion, taking part in workshop and seminar are just a few to mention to be developed professionally. As professional development is a continuous process so we should believe in lifelong learning.
Head Teachers Contribution to the TPD: To run a school effectively and smoothly head teacher plays a vital role. And it has proved again and again in different international studies. In the pilot project of EIA it was found that EIA activities became effective and fruitful in those schools where head teachers were positive about EIA approach.
Keeping it in mind EIA has designed some techniques to materialize EIA approach with the help of head teacher. EIA selects one head teacher facilitator from the head teachers of one Upazilla.
A head teacher has two important responsibilities besides leading the activities of EIA. The first one is continuing the activities of EIA as the head of school. And the second one is administering the CM of his or her Upazilla.
At the beginning of the project when head teachers were not involved with EIA there was not ample opportunity to practice English inside school. There were no scope to use English in the assembly, annual cultural function or annual sports ceremony.  It was seen that the head teacher was rebuking the students because they were speaking in a loud voice at the time of conversation practice.
I would like to mention a story from “Head Teacher Facilitator Guide” to justify the role of head teacher for professional development of teachers. One day Mr. Tom from Open University, UK came to observe a class of HT. She (HT) was nervous. But the smiling face of Mr. Tom put her at ease .When the students were working in pairs Mr. Tom was helping them . After the class he praised the students and thanked the HT . So when Lubna came to head teacher’s room for feedback about her class, she (HT) smiled at Lubna. Because now she knows how to give feedback. She observed the class. They discussed about the good things of the class.
They decided to practice to give instructions in English inside English classroom. They also decided to practice to become confident to use Audio inside class.
After school the HT took some note in her diary. She knows that it is impossible to run a school sitting in the office. She jotted down some points.
1.    Students talk much in English class than any other class and it is expected.
2.    Showing positive attitude and praising.
3.    Showing interest to the work of students.
4.    Asking questions in English.
5.    Praising in front of everyone in the class.
6.    Observing students advancement in speaking, listening and understanding.
7.    Praising teacher and students.
8.    To be present in the class to praise teacher and students.
9.    To discuss with EIA teachers about their success and challenges.
The main job of a head teacher is to monitor teaching learning process in his/her school. The purpose of monitoring is to increase efficiency and improve effectiveness of the system in place. Since teachers and head teacher are input variables in a school, the head, as the instructional leader must support and facilitate any initiative conceived by teachers. Teachers are the school’s most precious resource. To solve their problems relating teaching and learning they seek solution from the HT. The HT with his/her experience and expertise help the teachers to overcome their challenges.
HT provides support that teacher’s need and motivate them to work and exploit their potential.
There is a proverb, “As is the head teacher so is the school”. A head teacher could be a guide, trainer, facilitator and mentor for the teachers. A head teacher can do a lot for teacher’s professional development.
In fine it can be said that the role of HT is very important for TPD.
How do the practices of EIA ensuring the TPD? : English In Action is working in Bangladesh to develop English language skill of teachers and students of primary and secondary level. EIA is using EFT as main material with many other supplementary materials.
Print and Electronic Materials: EIA uses print and electronic materials to make the lesson interesting and effective. Print materials are different types of guide books for the teachers, poster and flashcard to use inside classroom. EIA teachers use mobile phone with a SD card inside it. Teachers connect a speaker with it to conduct a class based on EFT. Teachers also can observe classes of other teachers through this mobile phone. By observing the classes of other teachers they can develop their teaching strategy. That’s why this mobile phone is called trainer in the pocket.
CPD: EIA works to develop professional skill of primary and secondary level English teachers. The main characteristic of EIA approach is giving continuous training support to the teachers for their professional development.
Link with EFT: All the activities and materials of EIA is related to EFT. By using these materials with different activities students develop their four skill in a happy environment and communicative way.
Cluster Meeting: 20 to 24 EIA teachers of a Upazilla assemble in a cluster meeting after every six or eight week. Two Teacher Facilitator preside over this meeting. TFs are the English teacher of same Upazilla . They are given training to conduct CM. CM helps teachers to overcome their challenges.
Peer Support: EIA includes two teachers from each school for mutual cooperation. They prepare lesson plan, observe each others class, exchange experience of teaching English. They also get help from other EIA teachers and TF.
Self Reflection: EIA follows self-analysis and self-evaluation process for teachers continuous professional development. After class teacher think about his class, the area where he did well and the area he needs to develop.
Head Teacher : Head Teacher plays a vital role in materializing EIA approach in his or her own school .To implement EIA approach, head teacher do a lot by  Observing classroom, helping teachers, supervision of mobile-speaker-materials etc.
Quality Assurance: To ensure quality education, QA is a regular activity. Through this process Education officers of Upazilla level visit classroom regularly, collect data, give feedback to the teachers and inform EIA about overall quality development.
School Based Teacher Development Approach: Continuous professional development of EIA is an effective comprehensive strategy of Face to Face Support and Open & Distance Learning. It is prepared mainly for the teachers to practice new activity inside classroom. Here teachers get acquainted with new activity in their Initial Teachers Workshop which they practice in classroom. They become equipped with audio-video material and other print materials. From video materials teachers get instruction and help how they will conduct class by using EIA material, how they will exchange their experience and views in Cluster Meeting.
In fine it can be said that the practices of EIA is great for the English teachers of primary and secondary level. The practices of EIA is ensuring and contributing to the teachers professional development. And the ultimate result is development of English language skill of both teachers and students.

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                    Distant Support
What is distant support ? How does EIA contribute distant support to the teachers ? What are the advantages and challenges of this approach ? Elaborate with logic and references.
Distance learning is a way of learning remotely without being in regular face-to-face contact with a teacher in the classroom .
In the past decades, distance education has become an increasingly popular way for Universities to provide access to their programs .
Distance learning occurs when there is a separation between the instructor and the student, usually due to geographical or time concerns that prevent the student from attending an on-campus course . Often, electronic means are used to bridge this gap . Distant support is designed to help needs and requirements that arise when learning is taking place outside of a traditional classroom setting .
The majority of distance education today takes place using the Internet. Electronic means are used to distribute the learning material, keep students in touch with teachers and students themselves. Of course, distance learning can use other technological formats as well including television, DVD, teleconferencing and printable material.
Distance learning makes it much easier for some students to complete a degree or get additional job-training while balancing work and family commitments. Because the hours when class work can be completed are flexible, as most distance learning programs allow students to work at their own pace and on their own time. Many students can complete their work during times when they are free.
With more flexibility comes more responsibility on the part of the learner. Students must learn to work well independently and without the constant guidance and monitoring of an instructor, making distance learning a challenge for those who are not easily self-motivated. Distance learning is also a great tool to help reach students who are in geographically remote areas and may not have readily available access to educational facilities. Of course, schools are not the only people who are taking advantage of distance learning, as many businesses have found it a valuable tool in making employee education and training quicker and more cost efficient.
Distance learning, sometimes called e-learning, is a formalized teaching and learning system specifically designed to be carried out remotely by using electronic communication.
Distance learning is less expensive to support and is not constrained by geographic considerations. Students with scheduling or distance problems can benefit, as can employees, because distance education can be more flexible in terms of time and can be delivered virtually anywhere.
Popular distance learning technologies include:
1.     Voice-centered technology, such as CD or MP3 recordings.
2.     Video technology, such as instructional videos. DVD and interactive video conferencing.
3.     Internet.
Studies indicate that distance learning can be as effective as the traditional format when the methods are appropriate to the teaching tasks, there is student-teacher interaction and the teachers provide students with appropriate and timely feedback.
EIA distant support to the teachers : EIA provides various types of distant support to the teachers. Let us see the ways and techniques of EIA to give distant support to the teachers.
1.     Trainer in the pocket : EIA provides EIA teachers with a mobile phone with a SD card inside it . There are three folders in the SD card in the name of,
a.     Teacher
b.     EL4T
c.      Classroom
Teacher folder is divided into eight module with some video and audio . These audio and video are very much helpful for the teachers to develop their professional skill.
In the EL4T folder audio material is given for the teachers to practice English to develop their English language skill.
In the classroom folder there are some audio related to EFT to practice in the classroom with the students.
EIA teachers are getting distant support from Audio and Video of EIA mobile phone. It helps them a lot to develop their own English, to learn some techniques to apply in the classroom, to conduct a class by using EIA mobile phone and speaker etc. This mobile phone is called “Trainer in the Pocket”, because this mobile phone helps and trains up a teacher like a trainer. It’s an excellent distant support for the teachers.
2.     Module: EIA has eight modules for teachers’ professional development. For each and every module a cluster meeting is held. Two TFs facilitate the meeting. They give idea about the next module and discuss about the previous module. EIA is a continuous professional development program. Teachers go through the module and try to apply different techniques in the classroom they have learnt from the module.
At the beginning of each and every module there is introduction part. And then there is instruction to watch some video clips in mobile phone supplied by EIA. By watching the videos teachers will be familiar with the CLT techniques of EIA. It’s a great distant support for the teachers.
3.     English Language For Teachers (EL4T): EIA has developed English  Language Course for teachers to develop their English language skill. It is available in the EIA mobile phone in the name of EL4T.
4.     Classroom Materials: EIA has audio and poster to use in the classroom. Teacher can connect speaker with the mobile phone to play audio. In the audio there are some lessons, dialogues, songs and rhymes. By using audio teacher can make the classroom effective and interesting.
5.     SMS: At times EIA send short message to the teachers over phone with particular instruction. For example, please practice EL4T.
6.     Website: EIA website address is www.eiabd.com . By visiting this website teachers can get different sorts of information related to their profession. To some extent this is also distant support.
7.     Facebook: EnglishInActionBangladesh is the Facebook page of EIA. By liking this page teachers can get connected with EIA. They can post their query and get answer from our communication officers. This is a nice distant support.
8.     Phone: EIA teachers can phone the Coordinator Teacher Development to get the answer of any query related to their professional development, EIA materials etc.
Advantages and Challenges of EIA distant support :

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