Thursday, 5 December 2013

British Council launches audio-visual materials for primary school English teachers in West Bengal 

Minister-in-Charge, Education, Shri Bratya Basu launches self-access course materials at Roopkala Kendro with participation from 4,500 teachers across 20 districts 

Thursday 5 December 2013 

The British Council today launched English in the Primary Classroom—DVD Teacher Training Series, a range of audio-visual materials for primary school English teachers in West Bengal. The project was funded and developed by the British Council in partnership with Pashchim Banga Sarva Shiksha Mission (PBSSM) and the West Bengal Board of Primary Education.

Minister-in-Charge, Education, Shri Bratya Basu launched the course this afternoon at Roopkala Kendro Salt Lake City, and 4,500 teachers from all over the state participated in this event through 341 Receive-only-Terminals across various district headquarters and block development offices. 

After the launch, trainers from British Council conducted an orientation programme that was broadcast from Roopkala Kendro’s studio. The participating teachers from the 20 districts interacted with the British Council trainers telephonically. 

The DVD teacher training series is being made available through 726 Circle Level Resource Centres (CLRC) across the state by the PBSSM and British Council. 

This unique digital initiative will give primary school teachers from across West Bengal an opportunity to improve their English teaching skills through these easily accessible teacher education materials. 

The self-access course materials include five audio-visual units in two DVDs with self-access menus and an attractively designed workbook.

These teacher education materials were filmed in government primary schools all across West Bengal. The films capture teachers and learners in a variety of contexts and come with a detailed workbook and self-access menu that enable teachers to teach English language in an interactive and communicative manner, with stress on speaking and listening skills of the pupils. 

Sujata Sen, Director British Council East India, said: “By embracing technology for English language teacher training, West Bengal School Education Department and the British Council are pioneering a way of reaching a large number of teachers in remote rural contexts.” 

In the next phase of this project, all the materials will be made available through the School Education Department’s website and in the final phase, very short versions of teaching tips in English will be made available as video clips for mobile phones, and disseminated through phone memory cards.

For information contact: Shonali Ganguli, Head Communications British Council East India; M: +91 (0) 9836569944 T: +91 (0)33 40074315 or E:

Notes to Editor

The West Bengal DVD series is part of a series of British Council’s suite of bespoke, highly contextualised digital English language teacher training resources. We have developed and delivered similar materials for state school teachers in Tamil Nadu. We are working on similar self-access digital resources for government school teachers in Bihar and Maharashtra. These materials are designed to support traditional face-to-face teacher training and professional development by using a blend of high quality, interactive digital resources such as films and audio recordings as well as printed workbooks. This context-sensitive approach allows teachers to relate directly to the teaching scenarios and the blended approach is very likely to enhance the quality of learning outcomes of teacher training and benefit learners directly. 

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We work in over 100 countries worldwide to build engagement and trust for the UK through the exchange of knowledge and ideas between people. We work in the arts, education, science, sport and governance and last year we reached over 128 million people. 

The British Council is recognised across India for its network of 9 libraries and cultural centres. We offer a range of specialised projects in arts, education, exams, English language and society to audiences across India and more than 100,000 members. We also provide access to English language training and learning for both students and teachers, offer UK qualifications in India and enable opportunities to study in the UK.