English in Action’s Secondary Teaching Learning Programme (STLP) is engaging students and teachers through innovative training and resources. It is bringing major pedagogic changes to secondary teachers’ practice in the field of language teaching and learning. Research shows clearly that this changed practice results in significantly improved English language proficiency of both students and teachers in Bangladesh.
STLP is entirely based on what teachers actually do in the classroom. To improve practice and, ultimately, the English of the students, teachers are provided with easy-to-use professional development materials in both print format and as audio-visual materials. In addition to training workshops, teachers also work with their peers in their schools and in regular face-to-face 'cluster meetings' of 24 teachers where participants both reflect on classroom practices learnt and completed and look ahead to those that come next. In addition, teachers are provided with audio and print materials that can be used in their classrooms with the students. All audio and video resources (both for training and classroom use) are hosted on a low-cost mobile phone, supplied to all EIA teachers. Teachers are also supplied with an amplified loudspeaker so that they can use audio in their classroom teaching.
All resources are also closely linked to the national curriculum and its English for Today text books.
STLP materials, with their lively audio dialogues and songs and colourful posters have perhaps made the greatest impression, but face-to-face teacher training and support and the reflective videos of teachers practicing techniques in the classroom, help teachers develop their pedagogic skills through practice and reflection. These are keys to bringing about the changes necessary to teach more effectively in the classroom.
Our teachers’ professional development programme follows three important principles:
1. Continuity of support: teachers build on their learning through regular meetings over a long period. They also have the 'virtual' support of the video guide that can be accessed at any time
2. A school-based approach: teachers develop their skills in their own classrooms, and have opportunities to reflect on their experiences with the support of EIA’s team of Teacher Facilitators, and with their fellow teachers. Teacher facilitators also make supportive visits to teachers in their classrooms
3. Local capacity building: EIA’s teacher facilitators are serving teachers and headteachers; through their involvement in EIA they are developing training and teaching expertise of lasting benefit to their communities
English in Action STLP is supported by a wide and varied team. It includes:
- English teaching and teacher training specialists from The Open University (OU), UK
- Core Trainers (CTs), a group of specialist trainers, who act as mentors and facilitators to the Teacher Facilitators (TFs) and sometimes to teachers
- Teacher facilitators (TFs), specially selected and trained Government teachers, who act as facilitators and mentors to the teachers in schools in their locality