best of all the EIA materials), also used a lot of activities demonstrated on the videos, including correction techniques, classroom language, gesture and groupwork. On being asked whether EIA would have been more difficult without the TD videos, she was very clear that the video helped the teachers to internalise the techniques demonstrated: ‘I use video to overcome my problems. This is very useful for me.’ In the early videos, the narrator, Shanta, speaks in Bangla, which helps teachers understand the concepts introduced in the classroom practice. Later, as the teachers get more familiar with the materials, she switches to English. When she talks about Shanta, like many of the teachers in the project, Ayesha said that she feels that she ‘knows’ her, that she is talking directly to her through the mobile phone. These four teachers know each other, as every six to eight weeks they travel across their upazilla to meet with other teachers on the EIA project at the cluster meeting to share their classroom experiences and reflect on the previous six weeks as they have worked through a module. All four teachers expressed strong support for this face-to-face element; on one occasion when the observers asked where the ideas for specific classroom techniques came from, Mohamed replied that they came from EIA, and in particular ‘from the last five cluster meetings’. On being asked where he had got the idea of playing the audio several times, Arif replied simply: ‘cluster meeting.’ Perhaps the overwhelmingly positive claims from teachers that they liked all the materials was not entirely surprising, but what is particularly significant is that in many cases the teachers were able to demonstrate, with a considerable degree of proficiency a variety of techniques and approaches shown in the videos and practised in the cluster meetings.
Future directions: adapting the model Having concentrated attention during the 2011–14 scaling-up phase on developing and delivering the basic model of low-cost CPD video mediated with peer support, the project moves at the end of 2014 to its final three-year phase of institutionalisation and sustainability. This will involve a wider range of institutions and possibilities for making the basic CPD content and activities accessible to many thousands of teachers. While exploring possibilities for this phase, it is already starting to appear that there is considerable scope and flexibility in the basic EIA digital material design for a range of customised uses. In terms of hardware provision, it is envisaged that teachers will access the materials on their own mobiles, and the project will provide only the materials on the SD card. A first sub-district started to pilot this own-mobile model in February 2014. All but three per cent of the teachers in this group had mobiles that supported the SD card; a strategy will need to be found for these teachers whose phones are unsupported. There will also be a need to monitor whether, and for how long, the teachers are willing to give up some of the capacity that they may wish to use for personal purposes.
| English in Action in Bangladesh
Published on Aug 29, 2014
Published on Aug 29, 2014
The publication, edited by David Hayes offers global perspectives on the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of English language teach...