Providing free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education for the children of Delhi, to promote opportunities for their upward social mobility and social inclusion, is a prime focus of the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. Towards this end, we partnered with Macmillan Education, India to reach 40,000 Class 11 students and provide them with the skills needed to improve their English-speaking proficiency and communicative competence through a 160-hour spoken English course.


The goal of the project was to develop the English-speaking proficiency and communicative competence of class 11 students and to achieve the following lasting impact:

  •  the Delhi Directorate of Education has a model of delivery, which also embeds teacher support, to develop students’ speaking and communication in English
  •  improve the employability skills of students and enhance their job readiness.

Key activities

  • 360 teachers in 2018 and 1,619 teachers in 2019 were recruited by Macmillan Education and trained by the British Council in the pedagogic skills and knowledge required to deliver the content of the 160-hour course and conduct assessments 
  • the 160-hour spoken English course was delivered, in three phases, across 182 centres in NCR, Delhi in 2018 and 921 centres in 2019 
  • the British Council recruited and trained 18 senior teachers in 2018 and 72 senior teachers in 2019 in teacher management skills, understanding project objectives and the pedagogic knowledge and skills required for course delivery 
  • in both 2018 and 2019, to ensure quality in the course delivery, senior teachers conducted two observations of each teacher they managed.

Project delivery

The aim of the 160-hour spoken English course delivered to Class 11 students during the Delhi English project was to improve their spoken English by one full level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). To achieve this aim, a workbook, ‘Let’s Talk’, was specifically designed by Macmillan Education to meet the interests students and maximise opportunities to speak in English during the lessons.

To ensure students spent a large proportion of their class time speaking, English the workbook comprised of three key components which formed the basis of the delivery model – whole class output, independent learning sessions, group project work.


The project was delivered in three phases from May to December in 2018 and 2019. It reached 11,731 class 11 students in 2018 and over 39,197 class 11 students in 2019. 

  • In 2018, an internal evaluation by the British Council showed that 63 per cent of students who completed both a pre-course and end-of-course assessment showed improvement of one full CEFR level and that those students who had better course attendance improved their spoken English more.  
  • Similarly, the 2019 internal evaluation showed that 70 per cent students who completed both a pre-course and end-of-course assessment and had an attendance of over 50 per cent improved their English proficiency by one CEFR level. 
  • In 2018, over 80 per cent of students reported an increase in confidence in speaking English at the end of the course. In 2019 this figure was over 90 per cent.  

What stakeholders say

'I have attended many training programmes so far and have been teaching for 22 years, but the amount I have learnt during this training is unmatched. These three days have been very rich in terms of learning about various aspects of teaching and gives me more confidence about my role on the Delhi English Project' – Participant Teacher, 2018

'I want to talk to Education Minister to have more English spoken classes’- Learner

Across both phases of the Spoken English Project, the results of the post-assessment indicate that there was a positive change in the ability of students to communicate effectively in English… Approximately 65% of students started the courses with pre-A1 or A1 level of spoken English. For the post-assessment, more than 80% of students achieved A2 level or better, showing improvement of a full CEFR level. The gains achieved by the majority of students demonstrate the efficacy of the Spoken English Project…  - Trinity College London, 2018

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