Maharashtra English Language Initiative for Primary Schools

The vision for Maharashtra English Language Initiative for Primary Schools (ELIPS) is to increase communicative and interactive language learning in learner and learning focussed classrooms in line with the principles of the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005.

In 2011, the Maharashtra State Government requested the British Council to design a sustainable programme which would develop both the language proficiency and methodological skills of primary teachers. The ELIPS project plans to build the institutional and systemic capacity to achieve this, as well as develop parallel interventions through a number of innovative digital channels such as TV, radio and online.

Project Objectives

Maharashtra ELIPS has been designed to achieve the following broad objectives for teachers from grades 1-4 across 67,200 government schools in Maharashtra. The Project will:

  • Develop appropriate teaching/ learning methodology and use topic related materials to encourage and motivate learning of English in primary school classrooms by children of all abilities and from all socio-economic backgrounds
  • Enable these teachers to assess progress in line with the National Curriculum Framework (2005) and the policy of Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE)
  • Build a sustainable infrastructure to support in-service teacher training and continuous professional development of English teachers that can provide a model for other subject disciplines and other bodies
  • Build the language proficiency skills of 67,200 primary teachers in Maharashtra


•The state now has a sustainable cadre of over 600 Master Trainers (MTs) for future training initiatives, including over 160 who are now contributing to the British Council/RMSA secondary level project ELISS 

•    The MTs have improved their training skills as teacher educators 

•    The primary school teachers who were observed as part of ELIPS are conducting more learner-centred lessons (over 350 observations were conducted over two years)

•    There has been a significant change in perceptions of continuing professional development (CPD), training and the inherent benefits of the initiative amongst both the Master Trainers and teachers who participated in ELIPS

Key Activities

  • Master Trainer selection
  • A 20-day master trainer course delivered in three phases over two years
  • A set of standards and tools for monitoring and evaluating teacher training
  • 20-day teacher training course, delivered over two years, focussed on developing teachers’ English language skills as well as basic interactive teaching methodology for lower primary
  • CCE teacher training module and toolkit for teachers to use in the classroom
  • Teacher Journal to support and encourage classroom reflection

What the Master Trainers and Teachers say

Master Trainers 

"It was great pleasure to be part of British Council training. In the beginning teachers thought that it was a regular training but when we started our activities they become surprised and they started to respect the ideas. We changed the teachers’ point of view towards the teaching of English."

"I have learned new techniques, approaches and pedagogical methods for communicating with my learners as well as the teachers I train.  I am a lot more confident than before."



"I had many problems with teaching English before this training but now I know many activities, resources and ideas. I have learned lots of things which are useful for my classes."

"I have been given a new vision of teaching, I have decided to use more activities and make my English teaching joyful. I’m trying my best to build a young generation who can learn, speak, read and write English very well."

With all three phases of training complete, ELIPS Master Trainers (MTs) have benefitted from 20 days’ of face-to-face training in a variety of topics ranging from Assessment and CCE, Lesson planning, Action research, Critical thinking skills and Continuing Professional Development using the British Council CPD Framework. As a result, 65,000 teachers have been trained in relevant methodology and pedagogy to equip them to teach English in a communicative manner. In addition to this, the face-to-face training also included English language development with the focus on using English in the primary classroom.

Apart from training, some MTs were also successful in taking the TKT (Module 1) examination while others attended the Teacher Educator Conference (TEC14) in Hyderabad and were able to share learning and knowledge with colleagues from around the world.

Following the success of ELIPS, the participants of the project are eager to continue to develop their skills and knowledge. This is being facilitated by two main self-access multi-media interventions. Currently being aired in Maharashtra, TeachingEnglish Radio (TER) India is series of 12 programmes covering English Language Teaching methodology and is accompanied by worksheets. A series of 15 short clips of ELIPS teachers using learner-centred methodology and worksheets will be distributed to local resources centres very soon.

To download the TER Worksheets, listen to an episode and see the schedule for radio broadcast click here.