This project aimed to improve the quality of English language teaching and learning in 64 primary and secondary schools in six mandals in Visakhapatnam. These mandals constitute some of the most marginalised areas of the district and fall under the purview of the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA). 

The project involved teachers who from tribal communities who teach tribal children. For many of them, this was the first time they had experienced learner-centred English language teaching. The project fostered inclusion through the involvement of under-represented groups. 

Objectives

The main objectives of the project were to: 

  • support teachers with developing their English language skills and confidence in using appropriate classroom language for English lessons
  • ensure teachers have adequate knowledge and skills to be able to address the needs of learners about English language learning, to deliver 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 use in their schools and peer networks. This ensured that they had 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: a scoping study and the teacher training. These activities informed the design and activities of the longer-term project, including engaging with other stakeholders involved in the wider initiative. 

Key activities

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. 

Language development was as a key component of the course for both primary and secondary school teachers. The outcomes of the course included:

  • enabling participating teachers to understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in areas such as work, school and leisure
  • enabling participating teachers to 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 included developing teachers’ skills and knowledge to use interactive and activity-based teaching methodologies enabling them to implement new skill-based language learning techniques in their classrooms. They also learnt to manage collaborative learning in large classes, evaluate and assess learners and create a positive classroom environment.

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 using 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
  • had developed strategies to take responsibility for their own professional development.

What our stakeholders say

‘Very good skills are presented and it [the training] is good for teachers to develop her English language. To the teacher and the students, the methods and games [presented] are attractive in the classrooms.'  

‘I have learnt much more [and gained] knowledge [and] skills relating [to] English language.’ 

‘Good techniques, games are useful. Instruction pattern is nice.’ 

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