Breaking down barriers – mini-event

Watch the recordings of three practical webinars and a panel discussion from educators specialising in equality, diversity and inclusion in ELT and find out how to make your classroom more inclusive. This event took place on 19 June 2024.

Diverse primary students enjoying working together on laptops

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About the event

This event on Wednesday 19 June 2024 featured three practical webinars from specialists in equality, diversity and inclusion. The webinars give you insights into the experiences of teachers and learners who face unjustified discrimination, and suggest ways you can reduce barriers through your teaching. The webinars will focus on disability, LGBTQIA+ issues and race, and will help you promote tolerance, respect and anti-racism in your classroom. These will be followed by a panel of expert teachers from around the world sharing activity ideas for fostering safe, respectful and inclusive learning environments. The event is for teachers of primary, secondary and adult English language learners.

About the sessions

Session 1: Being a teacher with disabilities: perspectives, practices and opportunities


Nidhi Singal (UK)

Time and date:

13.15 – 14.15 (UK time) 19 June 2024

Session information:

This webinar will present the findings of a new British Council publication that aims to support teachers with disabilities. The lead researcher of the project, Nidhi Singal, will provide an insight into the challenges, opportunities, policies and current practices that teachers with disabilities encounter. The research is based on the lived experience of English language and other subject teachers with disabilities in national education systems in Brazil, Jordan, Rwanda, Spain and Sri Lanka. 

Click here to watch a recording of Nidhi's webinar

Session 2: Raising awareness of LGBTQIA+ issues in the classroom


Katherine Reilly (Greece)

Time and date:

14.30 –15.30 (UK time) 19 June 2024

Session information:

This webinar will explore why English language teachers committed to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) must engage all learners, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Teachers will learn how to identify and enhance teaching materials to foster inclusive practices and promote a safe, respectful and welcoming learning environment. Katherine, the first open trans educator in Greece, will also discuss real-life case studies where disrespect was shown in the classroom and will give practical approaches to dealing with such incidents.

Click here to watch a recording of Katherine's webinar

Session 3: Localising anti-racism: what you can do in the classroom


Dr Amina Douidi (UK)

Time and date:

15.45 –16.45 (UK time) 19 June 2024

Session information:

This session is about anti-racism as a proactive approach, with a focus on anti-Black racism. It will help teachers be more prepared to handle difficult discussions and situations involving discrimination. Amina will give practical ideas for you to foster open dialogue throughout the year, not only limiting these discussions to Black History Month, in your own local setting. By exploring this in the language classroom, you will promote inclusivity and cultivate a respectful learning environment for all learners.  

Click here to watch a recording of Amina's webinar

Session 4: How can you break down barriers in your classrooms? (panel discussion)


Ana Lucia Castells Ruiz (Argentina), Verónica Higareda (Spain) and Khouloud Attaya (Tunisia)

Time and date:

17.00 – 18.00 (UK time) 19 June 2024

Session information:

Three teachers from around the world discuss issues and activities related to breaking down barriers. Learn about inclusion and disability in the ELT classroom, how to deal with inappropriate behaviour and uncovering gender bias.

Click here to watch a recording of this panel discussion

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About the speakers

Nidhi Singal is Professor of Disability and Inclusive Education at the Faculty of Education of the University of Cambridge. She has worked extensively with children and young people with disabilities in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Her research examines the educational experiences of children with disabilities, the quality of teaching and learning in mainstream classrooms and the impact of schooling.

Katherine Reilly specialises in training teachers in inclusive teaching methodology and adaptation of diverse educational materials. She lives in Greece, where she teaches and works on teaching methodology and materials development courses for teachers. She has published extensively on ELT, and her articles can be found each month in the magazine ELT NEWS

Dr Amina Douidi is a specialist in diversity, equity, inclusion, and intercultural communication in ELT. She works with publishers to enhance the inclusivity of their materials. She also works as an EAP teacher and as an EMI trainer. Amina is Co-Chair Elect of TESOL ICIS, advocating for contributions from teachers and researchers from the Global Majority.   

Ana Lucía Castells Ruiz lives in Buenos Aires. She has been teaching in primary and secondary school for twelve years. She often connects with other classes around the globe synchronously or asynchronously to use language for real purposes.  

Verónica Higareda is a social-justice informed EFL educator with twenty years of classroom experience teaching young learners, teenagers, and adults. She currently works as a DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging) coordinator at her school. 

Khouloud Attaya teaches in a state school in Tunisia. She completed a two-year training program on the importance of promoting Gender Equality in ELT in Tunisia and is currently finishing her MA thesis on Interdisciplinary Studies.  

Important information about our events – please read

How to watch the webinar

Our webinars are free. They take place in Zoom Events. You do not need any special equipment to watch the webinars apart from a computer with the audio on. Registration is for the full event. You do not need to attend every session. 


You should register for the event at the link provided above. In order to receive updates and a link to join the webinar, you will need to provide a valid email address. Your information will not be used for marketing purposes unless you explicitly give us permission to do so during the registration process. For more information about the British Council's privacy policy, please follow this link: Once you have registered for the event, you will receive an email with a link to join the webinar. Please do not delete this email.

If you have any specific accessibility requests, please contact us by email at You should say which webinar you are attending and ask us to contact you regarding your needs. 

Instructions for joining a session in the event

1. Click on the link that was emailed to you when you registered for the event.
2. Enter the email address that you used to register for the event.
3. You will join the 'lobby'. From the lobby you can chat to other participants and ask for help if needed. 
4. From the lobby you will see the session that is either currently live or soon to be live. When a session is live, you can click 'join' to go inside the live Zoom session.

Webinar recordings

All TeachingEnglish webinars are recorded and available to watch on this page between 24 and 48 hours after the live webinar has ended. Recordings will be available to watch for a minimum of six months and up to one year after the live event has ended.

Webinar handouts

PDF handouts from each presenter will be available after the webinars.


Certificates of attendance are available for all attendees. The link to obtain your certificate is provided in the following places:

- at the end of the webinar in the chat box
- in the 'Thank you for attending' email that you will receive after the webinar.

You should download the certificate to your computer. Once the certificate is saved to your computer, open it and type your name on the certificate. We recommend using Google Chrome or Internet Explorer to do this. You cannot do this from a mobile device.

Code of conduct – participants

Please be respectful at all times to other participants and the presenter. Our webinars are freely available to attend by participants in all countries. Please be aware that comments you make in the general chat may have a negative impact on other participants and their enjoyment of the webinar.

Do not use insulting or offensive language or comments towards other participants or the presenter.

Do not make comments that include cultural references or political references that may be offensive or upsetting to other participants or the presenter.

Any offensive or insulting comments will be deleted, and the participant making the comment will be removed from the webinar.

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Comments that include links to paid-for websites for the sole purpose of promotion will be deleted, and you may be removed from the webinar.

Please use the Q&A to ask the presenter questions that are related to the theme or topic of the webinar only. If participant responses to questions are permitted, you should only make comments that are relevant to the question being asked.

Research and insight

Browse fascinating case studies, research papers, publications and books by researchers and ELT experts from around the world.

See our publications, research and insight