Andhra Pradesh – Quality English Language Teaching Initiative
Students of the Government Tribal Welfare Ashram school, Gandhinagaram

Objectives

This project aimed to improve the quality of English language teaching and learning in 64 primary and secondary schools in six mandals in Vishakapatnam which constitute some of the most marginalised areas of the district and fall under the purview of the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA). This project involved teachers who belong to tribal communities and teach tribal children. For many of them, this was their first exposure to the type of input on learner centred English language teaching. The project activities fostered inclusion through actions which improved the involvement of under-represented groups in our activities. The emphasis was on the potential of equality and diversity to help create more inclusive societies.

The main focus was to:

  • support teachers with developing their English language skills and confidence in using appropriate classroom language 
  • ensure teachers have adequate knowledge and skills to be able to address the needs of learners with regard to English language learning, to transact their lessons more effectively and to improve the quality of teaching and learning
  • provide teachers with a bank of British Council and other self-access resources for their own language development and to utilise in their schools and peer networks, ensuring they have the skills and confidence to facilitate effective knowledge sharing. These resources support and stimulate teacher learning within a coherent framework of teacher Continuing Professional Development 
  • The pilot phase of this project involved two primary activities – the scoping study and the teacher training. These activities formed the basis of learning that informed the design and activities for the long term project, including engaging with other stakeholders involved in the wider initiative.
Andhra Pradesh – Quality English Language Teaching Initiative
Studnets of the Government Tribal Welfare Ashram school, Turakalavalasa
Andhra Pradesh – Quality English Language Teaching Initiative
Students of the Government Tribal Welfare Ashram school, Ravvalaguda

Scoping study:

• To gain an understanding of the development needs of teachers and ascertain their beliefs and attitudes towards English language teaching and learning in primary and secondary classes. The study explored teachers’ aspirations towards their continuing professional development, their perspectives on the current syllabi/curriculum policy on ELT and pedagogy. This also explored information related to their experience of receiving pre-service and in-service teacher training. Data related to learner engagement in the classroom, their overall English language skills and access to learning resources was gathered through classroom observations of teachers, teacher interviews and focus groups with learners. Interviews were also held with Head Teachers and other key stakeholders to explore their perspectives.

Face-to-face course for teachers:

• The British Council directly trained 128 teachers (two teachers per school, one each from primary and secondary classes, from a total of 64 schools). The training was delivered in two phases of five days each, using a split-training model. The size of the batches was kept small as the trainees were participating in in-service training for the first time.

• Language development featured as a key component of the course for both primary and secondary school teachers. The potential outcomes of the course include:

- the teachers can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. 

- the teachers can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest, describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

• The second focus of the course was on improving teachers’ classroom methodology according to the twelve professional practices outlined in the British Council’s framework of continuing professional development. The course will included input related to developing the teachers’ skills and knowledge in using interactive and activity-based teaching methodologies enabling them to implement new techniques in their classrooms, manage collaborative learning in large classes, evaluating and assessing learners and creating a positive classroom environment and skill-based language teaching.

Supporting the continuing professional development of teachers:

• The face-to-face training programme was supported by a range of self-access learning solutions exploiting context appropriate audio, visual, print and mobile media. These were decided based on the teachers’ needs and information regarding access to digital resources, drawn from the scoping study.

Impact:

• By the end of the project, the cohort of 128 primary and secondary teachers in six mandals

 - had gained more confidence in their own ability to communicate effectively in English, especially in the classroom 
 - were able to teach English more effectively through a learner-centred and activity-based teaching methodology
 - were able to create and foster an English-friendly learning environment within their schools
 - were better able to reflect on their own performance and evaluate their own teaching
 - have developed strategies to take responsibility for their own professional development