Following a successful pilot in 2013, the second phase of the ‘English…We Can’ teacher training project in partnership with TRUE Plookpanya began in July 2014. This year, the project continues to use the innovative mix of face-to-face training, TRUE iMeeting webinars and online coursework to improve teachers’ own English language abilities and classroom methodology as well as their ICT skills. Successful participants who completed the course last year have now progressed to the second level of the British Council’s ‘English for Teaching’ course, while a new cohort of teachers is beginning the first level.
The training model was designed to meet the needs of primary and secondary teachers working in rural areas in Thailand. It allows teachers from remote districts, many of whom have few formal English teaching qualifications, to access high quality teacher development without the need for them to take time away from school and family.
Teachers spend 120 hours over a six-month period developing English language skills that are essential for teaching, at the same time as learning about new techniques and methodology for teaching English. Short, sharp face-to-face workshops are held with British Council trainers in Bangkok at the beginning, middle and end of the project, with moderated online components in between. True’s iMeeting video-conferencing technology has been integrated into the training to produce a unique 3-way blended model with monthly iMeeting webinars.
The final face-to-face workshop will be held in December and teachers’ language improvement will be assessed with a post-course proficiency. Class observation videos taken before and after the course will be used to evaluate the development of teaching techniques and English usage in the classroom. Successful participants who pass their current course will be eligible to progress to the next level of the English for Teaching training programme.