English language organisations join forces to run major global teacher project
English UK has partnered with other major English language organisations on a ground-breaking project to improve teaching standards in 20 countries.
Proposals from 17 English UK member centres for projects to improve the confidence, language and teaching skills of English Teaching Association (ETA) members in the 20 nations have been accepted and course design is under way. Delivery will begin in the New Year.
PRELIM – the Partnered Remote Language Improvement Project
The British Council, English UK and IATEFL, which are jointly running PRELIM have allocated £10,000 to each winning bid and contracted NILE (Norwich Institute for Language Education) as managing consultants to create a community of practice for the UK schools and facilitate the project. Funding has come via the British Council.
Each project is being run independently by an English UK member centre. A wide range - from universities to small independent centres - won bids open to Accreditation UK members to work with IATEFL-associated ETAs in countries including Guinea Bissau, India, Vietnam and Argentina.
English UK's business development director Tim Barker was excited by the opportunity provided by PRELIM for members of all sizes and types to bid for and deliver international projects, often building relationships with new markets and becoming more experienced in planning and delivery in the process. "This is truly innovative and a very ambitious way of delivering this. It's positive that we've ended up with 20 bespoke, innovative courses which will be delivered before the end of March for 20 different associations and 17 English UK member centres. It's a very cool project. We've never done anything like this before – but we hope the experience will lead to more major tenders being broken down into smaller components like this, and encourage our members to diversify into bidding for them."
He said PRELIM presented a great opportunity for English UK members to diversify in a changing market, and said there had been very strong bids from members of all sizes.
English UK member centres taking part are:
- Anglia Ruskin University
- Bell Educational Services Ltd
- CELT Centres for ELT Cardiff
- Celtic English Academy
- Centre for English Studies (CES)
- IH Bristol
- IH London
- Inlingua Cheltenham
- Language United Ltd
- Lewis School of English
- LILA* Liverpool
- New College Group
- Oxford International Education Group
- Peartree Language
- St Clare's Oxford
- The University of Sheffield ELTC
- Wimbledon School of English
Roy Cross, Principal Consultant, Partnerships in English for Education Systems at the British Council, said the quality and enthusiasm of the language schools and their bids were excellent, allowing the project to expand to fund 20 grants instead of the 13 originally planned.
He added: "I believe benefits will include more confident teaching and classroom practice for association members, an enduring relationship for the school with the partner and country and a mentored experience which will make the school more confident in delivering a remote course."
IATEFL's chief executive Jon Burton said: "Language proficiency is an important requirement for language teachers, and a lack of it can affect teachers' confidence, both in their classrooms and in their communities of practice." He hoped PRELIM would support excellent teachers within IATEFL's associates who did not otherwise have the opportunity to improve their language skills, helping build their confidence to improve their teaching and be more active in their teaching associations.
He said: "Collaboration, between UK institutions and teaching associations around the world, as well as continued collaboration between IATEFL, the British Council and English UK, both of whom we have worked closely with for many years, can only be a positive thing and benefit all."
One unique aspect of PRELIM is the involvement of NILE as managing consultants to create a community of practice and support for all the schools taking part. Director Thom Kiddle said "we are very excited about helping the individual projects develop, to provide confidence and language skills for English teachers in their classrooms, but also about coordinating the Community of Practice among the UK-based language schools, to share ideas and solutions for working remotely in such diverse contexts.
"We have seen great enthusiasm so far from all participants, and can foresee some really important potential outcomes in teacher language competences, and also in the capacity and experience of the UK providers being able to take the best of English UK member language provision to new areas – in global and operational terms. We feel this collaboration between EnglishUK members, IATEFL-affiliated English Teachers Associations, and British Council English for Education Systems is unique, innovative and will lay foundations for great partnerships and programmes in the short, medium and longer term."
Participating English Teaching Associations are in Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba, Georgia, Guinea Bissau, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Palestine, Serbia, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.
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