Teachers from the mountainous Bac Giang province, in the north-east of Vietnam, are now making their large English classes more fun and active for their students. They are also including a stronger focus on pronunciation and speaking, all thanks to a recent continuing processional development programme developed especially for them by the British Council Vietnam. Many of these teachers and their students are from five ethnic minority groups living in this province.
Phan Thi Trinh, Primary English Teacher told us: “I was lucky to take part in the training. We used to write things on the board for students to copy them down. Now they have a lot more fun, they can play as they learn, they can sing as they learn. I really love the new methodology, it engages the children better and it makes me feel younger as I enjoy the fun in the classroom.”
Prior to the training the trainers carried out a thorough needs-analysis and baseline study with the teachers to ensure the training was 100% focussed on the needs of the teachers. The training was then developed, based on the British Council’s Teaching for Success approach, and included face-to-face training, teaching demonstrations, teaching observations and mentoring support. The inclusion of peer observations ensured that teachers were fully engaged and invested in the process.
The training addressed some typical difficulties that the teachers in Bac Giang province face, which included a lack of engaging activities, overcrowded classrooms, and the teachers' pronunciation issues. The teachers were provided with techniques, materials and ideas to make their lessons more engaging and to help motivate their students.
After the training an interactive learning community was set-up online to allow teachers to share resources, ideas and best practice with their colleagues. This also helps to foster the idea that learning and developing is an ongoing process with the teachers continuing to develop and become even more confident in their teaching practice over time.
The pilot training programme, which reached 430 primary and 106 secondary English teachers over eight months, was organized in collaboration with Bac Giang Department of Education and Training.
“The partnership with the British Council has helped empower our teachers in terms of language skills and methodology. It has also significantly improved the quality of English teaching and learning in our schools, contributing to the government’s Project 2020 in overhauling the teaching and learning of foreign languages in Vietnam” - Phan Thi Thu Ha, Bac Giang Department of Education and Training.