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High quality, imaginative bids from language schools get international ELT partnership project off to a flying start

Published Lynne on Thursday, November 11, 2021 12:00 AM

ELT partnership project

34 accredited UK language schools have been chosen to take part in an international project to help improve the confidence, language and teaching skills of English Teaching Association (ETA) members in 40 nations. 

After the massive success of the first Partnered Remote Learning Improvement Project (PRELIM) earlier this year, the British Council has secured £500,000 for a 2022 rerun with double the number of participants. As before, it is being run by the British Council, English UK and IATEFL, with Norwich Institute for Language Education (NILE) as managing consultants. 

Roy Cross, the British Council’s Principal Consultant, Partnerships, said: “We knew PRELIM had struck a chord with both the language schools and the international teaching associations, but even so the response this time around has been amazing.

“I’ve had the pleasure of discussing the proposals with quite a few of our applicants, and the quality and imagination of their plans have been fantastic. I am so looking forward to these partnerships getting properly under way and being able to see how they develop for both the UK and the overseas teachers.”

Jodie Gray, chief executive of English UK, added: “We’ve been blown away by the enthusiasm of our members of all sizes for this project. Some of them took part last time, and for others it’s going to be entirely new. Obviously, it’s a great opportunity at a time when Covid is still having a major impact on our members, but they’re viewing this as much more than that. They’re keen to develop their own skills as well as those of their partner ETA, create meaningful partnerships, and really make a difference to teachers and learners around the world.”

IATEFL chief executive Jon Burton said there had again been real enthusiasm and commitment in the high number of applications received from teaching associations around the world. “Working with colleagues at UK language schools in order to boost teachers’ language skills can only have a beneficial effect on teacher confidence, as well as a positive impact on learners. Teaching associations have clearly learnt from the successes of last year and have come back with even more creativity and ambition this year.”

The 34 language centres which submitted winning bids include two universities and two further education colleges. Six of the institutions are running projects with two separate country associations, and all but two are English UK members.

Each project will be run independently by an accredited language centre with support from NILE to create a community of practice and facilitate the project. Partnerships will deliver between January and March, with the project report likely to be published next June.  


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