“The first-year pilot has provided a very solid foundation of more strategic collaboration between Xixiu District and the UK. International and professional development of teachers and head teachers has always been one of the top priorities for education development in Xixiu district.” Ms. Yang Li, Vice District Mayor of Xixiu District People’s Government, Guizhou Province
Guizhou province is a less developed area, with many ethnic minorities, and it was here that the British Council’s Teaching for Success approach was first used in China. Introducing communicative language teaching in an area such as this was a major step forward in the reform of the education system and demonstrates the local government’s commitment to reducing the gap in English teaching with more developed areas.
The coursed aimed to present, discuss and practise communicative methods of language teaching. It was important to empower course participants with a variety of approaches and activities so that they could bring a more learner-centred approach to their classrooms.
“I learned so many skills to improve my teaching. Thank you so much!” Participant
The training took place in two intensive blocks, allowing the teachers to put what they learnt into practice in stage one, before attending stage two. Selected Teaching for Success materials were used, supplemented with bespoke materials identified in the pre-course needs analysis. There was an emphasis on: improving use of classroom language; teaching English through English; moving from input to output in a logical way; increasing opportunities for student output through pair-work and group-work; and managing communicative activities with large classes. The second stage involved classroom observations with feedback from the trainer and other teachers, consolidated by one day of training based on emergent needs from the observations.
Building on the success of this training, the local government and the education bureau are keen to make it a flagship programme showcasing educational collaboration between the Province and the UK. A three-year MoU has been signed between the local government and British Consulate General covering teacher training and preschool to basic education leadership.