The British Council India signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of Odisha on 23 March 2018 for the Mo School initiative to develop the spoken English communication and life skills of students from 141 secondary schools in the state. The vision of the project was to enable improved life opportunities for 15,000 students in these secondary schools, by building the capacity of teachers to deliver a bespoke British Council spoken English and life skills course aligned to the Odisha curriculum using effective learner centred pedagogy.

Project objectives

  1. Class 9 learners in the 141 schools would experience high quality English language teaching and have access to opportunities to develop and practise the English skills necessary for employment and future opportunities. They would participate actively in regular spoken English communication classes using the British Council English communication and life skills course within the school timetable.
  2. For 141 English teachers from 100 Adarsh Vidyalaya, 30 Zilla High Schools and 11 other schools to:
  • develop their English language proficiency, their understanding and use of specified learning-centred classroom approaches and techniques
  • effectively deliver a customised British Council spoken English communication skills course to their learners
  • build their awareness of the benefits of continuing professional development (CPD) to boost their skills, knowledge and classroom practice
  • use English more confidently in the classroom. They would use more learning-centred approaches with both their textbooks and the customised British Council spoken English communications skills course, which they would use to teach Class 9 learners as a parallel track within the curriculum.

Key activities

  • training of teachers – teachers will receive ten days of face-to-face training conducted by the British Council. In addition, they will participate in the six-week BC Examination and English Services India Private Limited (BCEESIPL) myEnglish blended digital course to develop their English proficiency. The teachers will also be oriented to the British Council’s suite of online Continuing Professional Development (CPD) resources, including short online courses on FutureLearn, publications, websites and teacher development videos
  • establishment of digital communities of practice to complement the face to face training. Groups have been created for teachers to provide on-going support, communication and access to professional development
  • webinars for principals from the 141 schools, detailing the project and outlining their role in supporting the project 
  • presentations for parents to increase their awareness of the English Communications and Life Skills Course by British Council-trained teachers 
  • Monitoring and Evaluation to support project implementation and capture impact through baseline and endline learner assessments, classroom observations, focus groups and a range of qualitative evidence. Findings were then fed back into the project planning cycle. 

Project Activities

Baseline classroom observations and learner assessments- 20 classrooms were visited across the state of Odisha for baseline data on students and teachers. The spoken English levels of around 20 students from each of the 20 classrooms were assessed using a standardised assessment tool and 20 teachers were observed according to a range of pedagogical and linguistic parameters.

Block 1 teacher training for 141 teachers - a five-day block of training aiming to develop teachers’ understanding of learner-centred classroom management skills such as giving instructions, eliciting, drilling, using pair/group work and monitoring was delivered. Participants were also introduced to a learner course which was to be taught to the learners in the classroom

Midline developmental observations – to observe a certain set of teachers and assess the teachers teaching the learner course in the classroom. This was to understand how the English Communication and Life Skills course was being implemented in the classrooms and to support teachers to deliver the course using learner-centred techniques.

myEnglish course for 141 teachers- teachers participated in the BC Examination and English Services India Private Limited (BCEESIPL) myEnglish online course to develop their English skills and familiarity with online CPD. An online group was set up to support teachers through their online learning experience. They also shared successes and challenges related to classroom implementation and the British Council used this platform to share CPD resources and opportunities here.

Block 2 teacher training for 141 teachers- This was the second phase of the five-day training. Teachers experienced demonstration lessons from the British Council English Communication and Life Skills Course and conducted micro-teaching to help bridge the gap between the training room and the classroom.

Endline classroom observations and learner assessments- At the end of the project, to understand project impact on both students and teachers, we conducted endline student assessments and classroom observations using the same tools as the baseline.

Impact

Baseline and endline assessments of the same cohort of 109 students from Class 9 show measurable improvements in their English skills, with 90 per cent of these students increasing their test score, including 51 per cent of students increasing their score by three points or more on a 10-point scale. Their average score at baseline was 4.3 points, and the average score of the same 109 students is now 7.1 points.

Teachers who participated in project activities expressed overwhelming satisfaction with what they had learnt and this was corroborated with evidence of observed teachers incorporating learner-centred approaches, techniques and activities in their classroom teaching. 

What our stakeholders say

The things I have learnt here will definitely improve my quality of teaching, classroom transactions and  help the learners to acquire language skills and apply them properly -  Salini Pattanaik, Teacher, Ganjam district of Odisha

The trainer very meticulously presented everything - the training was overall a wonderful experience - Abinash Sahoo, Teacher, Malkangiri district of Odisha

My top three learning points are: 1. How to reduce my teacher talk time. 2. How to engage students using different activities and games. 3. The importance of CPD - Sakib Akhtar, Debagarh district of Odisha

I can't be just thankful to British Council. Right from their trainings to the online course to the chance they gave me to attend this conference (to be honest I didn't even know what AINET was), the last 12 months have been wonderful as far as growing up as a teacher is concerned. I learnt so many things during this period. The conference briefing, logistics, accommodation etc were simply perfect. I really want to see myself and learn many more in the next AINET conference and such other conferences as well. Thanks to the British Council, and AINET - M.S Parthasarthi, OAV, Dhanurvata, Kalahandi

Case study

As a teacher, Bidyut Lata used to teach her students in traditional method without any innovative way, the learners in her class faced problem in speaking in English, and she lacked the confidence and communicative skills to help them

Bidyut Lata attended the face-to-face training on learner-centred teaching techniques, classroom pedagogy skills, classroom management skills and the six-week online myEnglish course to develop her English proficiency. As part of the project, she was trained to deliver a customised English Communication and Life Skills Course for class 9 students. She was also be oriented to the British Council’s suite of online CPD resource

 As a result, she feels she has gained confidence in her career and has shifted from being a traditional teacher to a more innovative one. The English Communication and Life Skills Course has helped her learners develop their spoken English. She is now a more confident teacher and shares that her communication skills have developed tremendously.

Click here to watch Bidyut Lata talk about her experience