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English in Action - Using low-cost technology to transform language learning

Academic Directors: Prof Frank Banks, Prof Tom Power (OU)

Consortium Partners: Mott MacDonald - Cambridge Education (lead), BBC Media Action, Underprivileged Children’s Educational Programs (UCEP), Friends in Village Development Bangladesh (FIVDB) in collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh

Focus Country: Bangladesh

Dates: 2008-2018

Status: Completed

The Trainer in your Pocket - transforming teaching through mobile video

In Bangladesh, English skills are in short supply, limiting economic growth and opportunities.

Delivered by a consortium led by Mott MacDonald - Cambridge Education, English in Action (EIA), known by many users as the “silence breaking programme”, enabled millions of people across Bangladesh to improve their English as a route out of poverty and into work.  

The Open University was responsible for the schools’ programme, which equips teachers with the knowledge and resources to actively engage pupils in practising the language, instead of quietly listening in class. Teachers learn Communicative Language Teaching techniques by watching videos on their mobile phones, try out new activities in their classrooms and receive on-going support through paired teachers in schools and local meetings. 

Active participation by local and national government stakeholders drives sustainability.

Seeing the possibilities for classroom practice in the palm of your hand

Teachers need to see and hear how effective teaching and learning can work in classrooms like theirs, with many children and few resources. The Trainer in your Pocket puts video of authentic classroom practice, filmed in local schools, in the palm of teachers’ hands. Using their own phones, on or offline, these videos guide teachers to improve children’s learning at mass scale. The teachers also have classroom audio for use with students. 

“By watching other teachers practising different activities in the videos, I can continue to learn and explore. I have realized, even the simple things, like using real materials: pictures, flash cards, gestures, and postures, play an important role in learning and teaching English.”

“I can try to develop myself alone, but professional development gets coloured with the help of a peer teacher.”

“Peer assessment is a great tool to let students support each other, especially in a large class and it is my best learning from my classroom research.”

To find out more about the programme, visit the English in Action website. To learn more about the 10-year body of research and evidence, see English in Action School-Based Teachers Development - Body of Evidence.  

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