The British Council partnered with the North Eastern Council (NEC), Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (M-DoNER) and the state governments of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura to develop English language learning and teaching in government schools.

The agreement was signed on 11 October 2018 and aimed to work together in several areas including improving the teaching and learning of English, science and mathematics in the eight states of the region through capacity building initiatives for teachers.  

Project aims and objectives

To develop the learning and teaching of English in primary schools of Northeast India by equipping 50 master trainers per state (i.e. 400 master trainers in total) with the interactive facilitation skills and pedagogical knowledge that will enable them to lead teacher education initiatives in each state.

Project activities

  • Training of teachers: The five-day training for 100 teachers from eight states focused on learner-centred teaching skills. Topics included using games for the language classroom and using learners’ own language. Teachers practised newly learned concepts through experiential learning and observed micro-teaching sessions. As well as developing their understanding and use of learner-centred classroom pedagogy, this training also enabled the British Council to identify participants having the required skills, attitude and English proficiency to become master trainers, leading to the selection of eight cadres of up to 50 master trainers per state.
  • Selection of master trainers: Eight cadres of 50 master trainers from the Northeast states were selected based on a range of agreed criteria.
  • Training of master trainers: Master trainers received 10 days of face-to-face training which focused on developing their skills and knowledge of interactive pedagogical approaches, their English language proficiency and training skills.
  • Online course for master trainers: Master trainers participated in the BC Examinations and English Services India Private Limited (BCEESIPL) myEnglish online course. This was a combination of live online classes and guided self-study. On this course, master trainers studied online with regular help and guidance from a teacher for six weeks.
  • Establishment of digital communities of practice: To complement the face to face trainings and provide ongoing support, groups on a social media platform were set up for master trainers to provide on-going support, communication and access to professional development opportunities.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: To support project implementation and capture impact, classrooms of trained master trainers were observed. Findings and feedback from stakeholders were fed back into the project planning cycle.

Project impact

Teachers and master trainers who participated in project activities have overwhelmingly expressed their satisfaction with what they learnt.

  • 97 per cent of master trainers stated they were doing things differently in their classrooms as a result of their participation in this project.
  • 97 per cent of master trainers felt that their involvement in the project has helped their learners. Many were able to give specific examples of how; learners are participating more actively, they are benefiting from the range of techniques and activities covered in the training, and they are more confident to speak in English.

This finding is supported by the monitoring and evaluation data collected during classroom observations with every observed master trainer using at least one of the activities/techniques developed during British Council training in their classroom. In total, 76 per cent of observed parameters were met or partially met.

  • The project has established digital communities of practice. These groups are vibrant and enable master trainers to discuss their learning, to share examples of implementing training content in their classrooms, and for the British Council to share online resources and ideas for their continuing professional development. It has been noticed that WhatsApp is a more accessible communication channel than email, and we have continued to share CPD recommendations during the Covid-19 crisis.
  • The 65 per cent pass rate in the myEnglish online course indicates that despite widespread questions around internet connectivity and access, teacher development in the Northeast can incorporate online and blended approaches. Best practices included ongoing technical support via mobiles, face-to-face orientations and combining self-access inputs with synchronous videoconferencing.
  • Seven states now have cadres of up to 50 trained master trainers who have a range of training skills to enable them to facilitate teacher education initiatives in each state. They have also been prepared to deliver the five-day 30-hour course.
  • Out of the 666 teachers trained, 630 teachers responded to the end-of-course feedback survey. Ninety-nine per cent either strongly agreed or agreed that they had acquired new knowledge and/or skills. In terms of whether the five-day training met their expectations, 99 per cent of teachers either strongly agreed or agreed that it had.

What our stakeholders say

The workshops should never end. Maybe other batches too could receive the same workshop. The training was awesome

I have attended many trainings and workshops and it was helpful, but this is something more specific and interesting one and very helpful

My suggestion is to have more similar workshops in the future

A good learning experience for teachers like us. We got to learn new things and hope to do it in future too

I would like to say that every teacher should get this training in future

The duration of training period is very short – it should be extended to 10-12 days

If the training would have extended for more than five days, it would have been rather nice for us to learn more