The certificate giving ceremony of the British Council’s Young Learners’ Digital Pen Pal Project was held at the British Council Dhaka Office in Fuller Road on December 2.
The British Council’s Digital Pen Pal project is a global initiative to connect children from different countries so that they can learn about and appreciate cultures around world through authentic writing that develops their communicative competence in English. It also focuses on 21st century skills like digital skills, social and global awareness and citizenship.
Currently the participants are British Council students in Vietnam, Slovakia, Spain, Tunisia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Bahrain. They are all aged between 9 and 12 and have been placed into carefully chosen age as well as level appropriate groups. Within the groups they have the opportunity to engage with children from the other countries and find out about each other’s likes and dislikes, culture, traditions, food and celebrations. This is availed through weekly tasks that require them to have authentic discussions and exchange information and ideas and use that information to communicate their understanding of their world.
The platform used for communication is an online learning portal named Edmodo which is the foremost child friendly educational site in the world. The use of Edmodo allows parents, teachers and country coordinators of the project to monitor the activities regularly
On Friday, the 2nd of December 2016 participants from both the Uttara and Fuller Road Teaching Centres were presented certificates in recognition of their enthusiastic participation after successfully completing the first series of tasks. Thirty five Bangladeshi participants of the project, along with their parents, attended the certificate giving ceremony. The project was an opportunity for young learners to join courses with British Council Teaching Centre.
Imran Saifur, the Academic Manager of British Council Teaching Centre was present at the programme, among others. He said that “I congratulate our Primary students for being so wonderfully active in the Digital Pen Pal project. It was fascinating to see how much they contributed to building a meaningful learning experience for all the children in the project and enriched the discussions with their take on life in today’s globalised Bangladesh. We would like to continue to provide these windows to the world for our students and thank them and their parents for staying with us in this adventure.”
The British Council has a ‘whole child approach’ to teaching children which is why the Young Learner courses are enriched with co-curricular activities, such as this project, that facilitate cognitive development in addition to learning to communicate effectively in today’s global context in an enjoyable and engaging way. The Teaching Centre will start their upcoming course from December 11 in Bangladesh.