The demand for English as a global language has not only initiated the evolution of English Language Teaching (ELT) methods in classrooms but also introduced innovative learning channels. For over 50 years now, the British Council provides some of the best English language courses here in Bangladesh, embracing the motto of “Teaching English, supporting learning and testing proficiency.” The Teaching Centres have always focused on creating the best classroom experiences for young learners and adult students, enhancing their English language proficiency and 21st-century skills. Each country has its cultural aspirations infused in these learning environments. The British Council recognises that the best way to engage students in quality education is to immerse them in an English environment while studying issues relevant to their local surroundings, be it within the classroom or beyond. In the recent months, the British Council has redesigned and improved its English language courses for Bangladeshi learners and is now offering them to the customers at competitive prices.
Within the classroom: Projects for children’s communication skills
Every term, young learners are given creative and reflective projects to explore new themes and methodologies. This term, the subject was on conducting surveys and making presentations, based on contemporary socio-political issues of Bangladesh. Students chose topics such as the recent dilemma over the employment quota system of Bangladesh, the growing acceptance of artificial intelligence in our society, the work-life-balance among the country’s working force etc. Over a period of two weeks, the students gathered information, used the collected data to make reports, created questionnaires and surveys, tested them on peers, revised the content and finally presented the results in front of invited guardians and parents. By the end of the term, these young children have learned to employ different research methodologies, to summarise and collate information in a comprehensible manner, and to practise interpersonal communication skills. Furthermore, students acquired the skills of creating concise PowerPoint presentations and to confidently present their work to an audience. End-of-term feedback sessions with parents have been promising. “This is the first time my child has ever done something like this,” says Mr Obaidul Karim, a parent of Young Learner. “I appreciate the use of technology in a language learning class here. Thank you for creating the opportunity.” The Teaching Centre continues to develop its English curriculum for young children to enhance their learning skills.
Beyond the classroom: Facebook live lessons
The Teaching Centre has also been competent in keeping up with the digital side of things. The youth society of Bangladesh is dominantly preoccupied with social media channels, with millions captivated by the latest happenings on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. Using the British Council Bangladesh Facebook page, which has a fan-base of nearly 850 thousand followers, the Teaching Centre has been running weekly live-streaming classes throughout this month of Ramadan, conducted by innovative and spontaneous teachers. The topics are fun, creative and highly relevant to the Bangladeshi audience, addressing the common mistakes made by Bangladeshi learners and the conversational fusion of English and Bangla that gives way to the notorious ‘Banglish’. This project provides learners from all over the country the chance to learn with our expert English teachers. Running live classes entails online interaction with students real-time and can reach out to a much higher number of students than in regular classroom courses.
The British Council is a firm believer of access to quality education for all, and these teaching methods and learning channels bring the organisation one step closer to its goal.