The British Council is committed to supporting the use of technology for the continuation of education in a crisis. As many teachers find themselves in an unfamiliar situation of having to teach their classes online, with little or no experience, the British Council TeachingEnglish website is committed to providing as much support as possible to help you navigate your way through the world of online teaching.
Below is a list of initiatives that we are currently providing, or planning to provide in the coming weeks.
Insights and research
The two reports here provide insight into how education systems and teachers and teacher educators have responded to the impact on education of the Covid-19 pandemic.
These case studies celebrate the work of teachers and teacher educators during the Covid 19 pandemic and school closures. They provide examples of specific challenges that teachers have faced and the solutions they have found to those challenges, especially in terms of providing remote teaching and learning.
- Çiğdem Tuncel, Güldarpı Primary and Secondary School, Ankara, Turkey
- Wanda Mpisi, Principal, Nogqaza Primary School, Mevana Township, Howick, South Africa
- Daniela Cuccurullo, English teacher and digital coordinator, Giordana Striano Technical and Technological Secondary School, Naples, Italy
- Lazarous (Lazalo) Sinkala. Mpelembe Secondary School in Kitwe in the Copperbelt province of Zambia
- Understanding the effectiveness of professional development opportunities for teachers delivered remotely
A year on from the beginning of the pandemic, this report evaluates the effectiveness of teacher development opportunities delivered remotely.
New Ways of Teaching: Skills and CPD for Teachers
This research has investigated how education has continued through Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) in Brasil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, with a particular focus on primary and lower secondary teaching of English.
The majority of our lesson plans are for face-to-face classroom use. However, we are adapting a number of our existing lesson plans for use in online classrooms. We are also developing new lesson plans designed to help you with your remote teaching.
The teachers' notes include general guidance about teaching online, as well as step-by-step activities and a variety of options depending on the platform you are using. The online class materials are available as a PDF version of a PowerPoint presentation. Over the coming weeks and months, we will be adapting more lessons to an online teaching context for all ages and levels.
A list of these will be provided below as they are completed.
For older secondary and adult students
- Positives and negatives of remote learning (CEF level B2)
- Coffee shop showdown (CEF level B1)
- Shopping - different shops (CEF level A1)
- The benefits of being bilingual (CEF level B2+)
- Foreign words used in English (CEF level B2)
- Multicultural UK (CEF level B1+)
For secondary students
- What is enough (CEF level B1+) NEW
- Life after Covid-19 (CEF level B1+)
- Pros and cons of lockdown (CEF level B1+)
- Secondary student well-being (CEF level B1+)
- Creativity and Innovation (CEF level B2+)
- Out of time (CEF level A2/B1)
- English is GREAT (CEF level B1+)
- Chocolate (CEF level A2/B1)
- Snack culture (CEF level B1+)
For primary students
- Ending poverty (intermediate) NEW
- My Grandfriend (elementary)
- The future of learning (pre-intermediate)
- New things learned or done differently (beginner - pre-intermediate level)
- Primary student well-being (pre-intermediate level)
- Peacemakers and peace-breakers (pre-intermediate level)
- Learning at home (pre-intermediate level)
- Holidays (beginner/pre-intermediate level)
- What's the weather like? (pre-intermediate level)
- The English at home treasure hunt (beginner level)
- My sea creature (beginner level)
- Clothes (beginner level)
- Food I like/don't like (beginner level)
We have been running a series of webinars specifically for teachers and teacher educators working online, with further webinars planned. These are held in Zoom or Microsoft Teams with a capacity of 1,000. Please visit our webinar pages for more information.
The first, on Friday 20 March, looked at 'ways of using your coursebook with online classes' and 'ideas for using breakout rooms'. You can watch a recording of this webinar, and download the presentations and extra materials.
For more information about our upcoming webinars, please visit our dedicated webinars pages
Previous webinars in this series
- Teaching online - ways of using your coursebook with online classes' and ideas for using breakout rooms (recording)
- Teaching online - what to do if the technology fails and structuring lessons (recording)
- Teaching online - tech tools and the tutor's role (recording)
- Teaching online - supporting and mentoring teachers remotely (recording)
- Online teaching and Young Learners - Making the most of the situation (recording)
- Simple Teaching Ideas for Online Classes with Primary Children (recording)
- Teaching live English lessons online (recording)
- Teaching through the Covid-19 pandemic (recording)
ELT Research Awards (ELTRA) webinars
- Creative activities for language learners at home (recording)
- Own-language use in the language classroom: why, when, and how? (recording)
- ELT Research across fracture lines: Themes and methods for difficult times and under travel constraints (recording)
- Global North-South project-based learning (recording)
- International research into teacher professional development: implications in the current context (recording)
Other relevant webinar recordings
- IMMLE conference proceedings webinar
- The challenges of remote learning through online classrooms and resource hubs
- Gabriela Kaplan & Graham Stanley - What makes a good remote teacher
- Joshua Underwood - Using Voice and AI assistants for language learning
Online support sessions (Facebook question and answer sessions)
These online sessions take place on our TeachingEnglish Facebook page. They give teachers and teacher educators an opportunity to discuss themed issues they may be having with online teaching or management, and get advice from online teaching experts, as well as from colleagues around the world. See a schedule of our support clinics below and visit our Facebook page regularly for more detailed updates:
- Last-minute activities for online classes. Watch the recording of this Facebook Live event (recorded 5 January 2021)
- Using games with online, hybrid and face-to-face classes. Watch the recording of this Facebook Live event (recorded 20 November 2020)
- Focusing on skills work in remote teaching. Watch the recording of this Facebook Live event (recorded 21 April 2020)
- Planning effective lessons for synchronous remote teaching. Watch the recording of this Facebook Live event (recorded 28 April 2020)
- Assessment in remote teaching contexts. Watch the recording of this Facebook Live event (recorded 5 May 2020)
- Managing interaction and motivation in remote teaching. Watch a recording of this Facebook Live event (recorded 12 May 2020)
- Teacher wellbeing. Watch a recording of this Facebook Live event (recorded 19 May 2020)
- Teaching remotely with limited connectivity. Watch a recording of this Facebook Live event (recorded 26 May 2020)
- Creating your own content for remote teaching. Watch a recording of this Facebook Live event (recorded 2 June 2020)
- Returning to school - new ways of teaching. Watch a recording of this Facebook Live event (recorded 9 June 2020)
- Keeping your learners safe online. Watch a recording of this Facebook Live event (recorded 16 June 2020)
- The role of parents in supporting remote learning. Watch a recording of this Facebook Live event (recorded 23 June 2020)
- Ways to promote learner autonomy. Watch a recording of this Facebook Live event (recorded 7 July 2020)
- The Flipped Classroom. Watch a recording of this Facebook Live event (Recorded 14 July 2020)
- Student wellbeing. Watch a recording of this Facebook Live event (recorded 21 July 2020)
- Making time for professional development. Watch a recording of this Facebook Live event (recorded 28 July 2020)
Online support for teacher educators
Webinar recording | Online workshop for teacher educators - Using online collaboration tools
Watch a recording of this workshop, specifically for teacher educators and those who are (or will be) running online teacher training sessions. This interactive 90 minute workshop includes hands-on practice with online collaboration tools followed by a discussion on how to use these in the classroom. The session was recorded on 24 June 2020 and facilitated by Deepali Dharmaraj and Reshmi V M.
Professional development and guidance
Our professional development sections for both teachers and teacher educators provide hundreds of resources, including articles, video tips, webinar recordings and publications to support your career development. We are also running all three of our Teaching for Success MOOCs via the FutureLearn platform, as well a number of other online training courses. Visit our training pages to see what is currently available and also the British Council page on FutureLearn
Remote teaching tip series
The Remote Teaching Tips series provides practical ideas and guidance for teachers supporting their learners using a variety of platforms and approaches, across different contexts. We currently have guidance to help you in the following areas:
- Maximising speaking opportunities in online lessons
- Maintaining student motivation while teaching remotely
- Managing teacher well-being while teaching remotely
- Teaching English via TV or YouTube
- Virtual field trips to support English teaching online
- Getting started with online teaching
- Using your coursebook to teach remotely
- Top tips for using Zoom to teach English online
- Inclusion in remote teaching contexts
- Teaching remotely with limited technology: Getting started
- Teaching English via SMS
- Teaching English via telephone calls
- Using mobile messenger apps to teach English remotely
- Using Facebook to teach English remotely
- Online lessons: a menu of ideas
- Assessing learners online: assessment criteria
- Assessing learners online: noticing, self-checking and online quizzes
- Keeping your learners safe online
- Helping parents and caregivers to support remote learning at home
- Supporting your child to learn remotely at home
- Six tips for running online courses - Kirsteen Donaghy (available on the British Council Voices magazine)
- How to prepare teachers to teach online - Paul Braddock (available on the British Council Voices magazine)
- Five tips for teachers who have taken their classes online - Tim Phillips (available on the British Council Voices magazine)
- Gavin Dudeney & Nicky Hockly - Teaching online
- Delina Moobin - Online video in ELT
- Kieran Donaghy - Short and sweet: Using short films to promote creativity and communication
- Sam Shepherd - Designing a WWW reading task
Our Facebook page and teacher community are an excellent way to find resources from a wide range of sources, and attend Facebook Live sessions to help you with your professional development. Join our community and share ideas for online teaching and ways of managing your work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Some of the posts below are not written exclusively for teaching online, but will give you some ideas about activities and techniques you can adapt for an online teaching context
Read this post by Larry Ferlazzo: Four questions - and answers - about teaching English online
'There are so many challenges facing us as we move to teaching our students online. And, since this situation is likely to be with us for quite a while, what are some ways to overcome them?'
- Sandy Millin - Using podcasts to develop listening skills
- Fabiana Casella - Online safety
- Nelson Arditto - Online learning communities
- Larry Ferlazzo: Ideas for strengthening English skills over the summer (can be applied to asynchronous learning at any time)
- Amin Neghavati - Digital tools for giving feedback
- ljwood99 - Technology to reach more students more often
- Larry Ferlazzo - Four questions to ask before using an Ed Tech tool
- Leite Monteiro - Motivation and e-learning - personal reflections
- Lizzie Pinard - Innovation in education: looking for learning
- ljwood99 - Empower students with flipped, cooperative learning
Please check this page regularly to see updates about the resources and initiatives we are developing to support you.
I would express my great gratitude for such a resourceful website that helps teachers in all aspects of their educational process.
Thank you Christina. I hope we can continue to support and help you during these challenging times.
Great, Paul, Teamwork, Good Job
Learning mustn't stop with Covid-19. Thank you. Be safe and stay healthy.
Thank you for this sharing time. Stay safe
So I've never taught before and I can't find anything on here about how to teach, where to start and what to do- where should I look? That way when I do give my first few lssons I'll at least know what i'm doing. Can someone point me in the right direction please, thank you
There are plenty of resources to help you to develop as a teacher on our site. It might be a good idea to look at our professional development section - here you can find information about the British Council's professional practices for teachers - there are 12 areas, including lesson planning, using ICT in the classroom and managing lessons. Under each area there are articles, blog posts written by teachers from around the world, as well as videos and materials. You can find the page here: https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/professional-development/teachers
You could also take a look at our teaching resources, where you can find ideas for lesson plans, activties and classroom tools to use with young learner and adult students. These resources are all free to use. You can find them here: https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/resources
Finally, you might want to look at our training pages where you can find out information about courses on many different aspects of teaching.
I hope you find the site useful,
Thanks a bunch for this amazing step towards our professional development and training us to provide high-quality, safe, and inclusive learning environment.