[Reader-list] Need help with evaluating the British Council's English language program

Chintan Girish Modi chintan.backups at gmail.com
Wed Nov 17 22:23:52 IST 2010

Do get in touch with Jennifer at jennifer.ktg at gmail.com if you can offer
help in terms of advice, suggestions, criticism, contacts, or anything she
might find useful.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: jennifer thomas <jennifer.ktg at gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 8:40 PM
Subject: request for a study

Dear Chintan,

I am writing to you to request your help with something that I'm trying to
get started with. Sujata (Bookworm, Goa) and I want to undertake a small
study to reflect on the English program that the British Council runs for
government school teachers. The program is called Project English. (

We've lately heard a lot about this program and it is steadily spreading
across many states. While the initiative is probably a positive one, we feel
there is a need to look at the course content and processes more closely. We
want to study it in the light of our learnings about language pedagogy at
Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and our own experiences as
language teachers. There seems to be little happening to evaluate such
programs given the Indian context of classrooms and learners.

We are trying to get a sense of the exact nature of course/curriculum
content and pedagogy styles they impart. We would also like to hear first
person accounts of teachers who have undergone such trainings and have tried
to implement it in the classroom. Lastly, we're keen to understand from
states using Project English, how the British Council partners with the
government network of District Institutes of Education Training (DIETs) and
Block Resource Centers (BRCs), to implement it at the ground level.

A note about us:

Sujata: Has a Masters in Management and a Masters in Education ( Elementary)
. She lives and works in Goa, India. She began her career with an NGO that
worked with children and disabilites and thus steered her way to learning
and now reading. She co owns a not for profit company called Bookworm that
works with reading and children's literature in schools and the community of
Panaji, Goa. Sujata works with teachers, children, pre-service teachers and
is also presently working with Government Primary schools to enhance reading
and English Language learning through story and art. She is interested in
Language learning in all forms but particularly in the organic nature of
language teaching and the nexus between art and language.

Jennifer: Has a Masters in English from EFLU, Hyderabad ( formerly CIEFL)
and a Masters in Education ( Elementary) from TISS, Mumbai. She taught
English literature at the undergraduate level before moving into school
education. She currently works with Muktangan, a Mumbai based education NGO
which partners with 7 municipal corporation schools in a whole school
intervention model.(http://muktanganedu.org/). Muktangan is an educational
programme that offers alternatives to orthodox educational practices. As
part of the in-service teacher training team she leads the English language
teachers in Muktangan schools, working with them on curriculum development
and planning. She is interested in in-service teacher training issues,
English language pedagogy and is curious about the national scene of English
language teaching, vis- a vis the classrooms and the teachers.

Since you too worked on writing and language learning for you M.phil, we
thought you might be able to give us some good leads at this preliminary
stage. Could you forward this to your professors or others who might have
similar interests or would be willing to help us? We would appreciate it if
you could directly put us in touch with some people too.

Looking forward to a positive response.



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