Major English language organizations have partnered in the UK to improve language teaching standards in 20 countries, starting in the 2021. The British Council, English UK and IATEFL (the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language) have joined forces to run PRELIM – the Partnered Remote Language Improvement project – with the help of NILE (Norwich Institute for Language Education), as their managing consultant.
The 17 participating English UK member centers, whose bids have already been accepted, aim to refine the teaching skills, language and confidence of English Teaching Association (ETA) members in the selected nations, including Afghanistan, Brazil, Cuba, India, Serbia, Vietnam and many more.
The British Council provides a funding of 10,000 GBP (13,530 USD) for each successful bid to facilitate the project and produce a Community of Practice for the UK schools. Winning bids were submitted by a wide range of language education providers from small independent language centers to universities.
The delivery of the course will start in the New Year and will finish in March 2021.
Tim Barker, English UK’s business development director believes that this project will be a great opportunity for attaining more experience in planning and delivering the initiative, as well as for building cardinal relationships along the way.
“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 in a news release on their website.
The British Council’s principal consultant for Partnerships in English for Education Systems, Roy Cross said that they were able to fund 20 bidders instead of the originally planned 13, thanks to the quality of their proposals and their enthusiasm.
“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,” he added.
One of the selected centers is CELT, which has been put together with the Cameroon Bilingual Letters Teachers’ Association (CABITA) to support them and design a program that upskills their members. Like the other centers involved, CELT will be attending an online Community of Practice, where they will receive guidance on how to work with nations who have different infrastructure and knowledge about online teaching and learning.
John Burton, Chief Executive of IATEFL, commented: “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.
“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.”
The partaking institutions 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 and Wimbledon School of English.
Kitti Palmai is a UK-based freelance journalist and copywriter specialising in business, languages and migration. She has written for BBC News, Thrive Global, The Expat Magazine and many more. [email protected]