In this talk, Ben discusses teacher training in fragile contexts. 

Date: 8 October 2016

Link to the recorded talk: http://britishcouncil.adobeconnect.com/p6g97wq27f9/

This presentation will look at how the British Council has continued to deliver English language teaching (ELT) programmes in Libya despite logistical and security challenges. It will provide an overview of the situation the British Council faced in Libya in mid-2014 and will explain how it was no longer possible to continue to provide face to face engagement. It will also briefly discuss the reasons why the organisation believed it was important to continue working with Libyan partners and supporting ELT. It will then look at how the British Council began running Skype-based teacher training courses and how the programme moved from being as a series of one off courses to a continuing professional development programme being delivered in partnership with seven state universities. It will draw upon the recent review of the Skype-based programme to look at the benefits it has brought the British Council and its university partners. It will also examine the challenges faced and explain how these have been overcome. It will then show how this led to other activities, such as British Council support for university conferences through Skype and the use of LearnEnglish Connect as a low cost blended learning solution for universities’ English programmes. The presentation will finish by giving some practical advice for ELT professionals looking at similar training programmes for their contexts.

About the speaker:

Ben Gray has worked for the British Council since 1997. From 1997 to 2004 he was a teacher at the British Council Teaching Centre in St. Petersburg, Russia. He then moved to Ukraine to work for the Peacekeeping English Project (PEP), initially being based in Lviv as a teacher trainer before moving to Kyiv and becoming Project Manager of PEP Ukraine and PEP Moldova. In 2009 he closed these projects and moved to Sudan to take up the position of English Language Advisor and Regional Engaging Teachers Manager. In 2012 he was appointed ELT Manager for the newly reopened British Council Libya with responsibility for managing English projects work and working as an advisor to the Libyan Ministry of Higher Education. Since September 2016 he has been based in the UK providing consultancy and support in the areas of English language teaching and more general education.

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