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3/22/12

British Council calls on Arab World at TESOL to keep fingers on pulse of changes, needs and opportunities in the field of English.

English learners in the MENA region to reach 20 million by 2015 targets British Council British Council calls on Arab World at TESOL to keep fingers on pulse of changes, needs and opportunities in the field of English British Council is targeting 20 million English learners by year 2015.

This was recently announced by the British Council during the 18th annual TESOL Arabia the region’s largest English Foreign Language (EFL) conference hosted at Dubai Women's College. “British Council has partnered with TESOL Arabia, which shares our goals of helping develop English language teaching skills of teachers in the Middle East”, stated Nic Humphries, Director English, Middle East and North Africa, British Council. “For almost 75 years, British Council has been teaching English to students and working with EFL teachers to build capacity, improve skills, and enhance cultural dialogue between the UK and the Middle East and North Africa region.
“With growing internet penetration and digital resources, British Council aims to reach 20 million English learners in the next three years,” stated Humphries. The combination of web-based tools, social media and mobile technology offers an unprecedented opportunity to bring English to tens of millions of students and teachers who consider English an essential skill to secure better educational or professional opportunities,” “Over the last few years, British Council has introduced proprietary web-based tools that tap into some of the most powerful channels of communication to hone people’s skills in an environment that is increasingly driven by English. All these services have been designed to enable every teacher and learner of English to have access to high quality resources from the UK, said Humphries”. According to British Council, social media is increasingly becoming more significant in the field of teaching and learning English. “Students and teachers are looking to connect with British Council and each other to seek advice, discuss issues, or simply share experiences,” said Humphries. “The social media element of British Council’s English offer allows us to keep its finger on the pulse of changes, needs and opportunities in the field of English language teaching.” British Council MENA’s English Facebook page, ‘Go4English’ has jumped over 200% in membership in less than 18 months and boasts over 500,000 members.

Humphries explained, “Go4English is targeting English learners, and it’s live and buzzing with ongoing activity like competition, discussions and exercises. On top of all this, an experienced and qualified English teacher is available to answer questions and provide assistance outside the classroom. Our page has brought teachers and students on a common platform to benefit from each other.” In addition to students, British Council is has also turned its attention to English teacher training. At TESOL 2012, British Council introduced a range of new digital English teaching products. “In order to reach our goal of 20 million by 2015, it is essential to have enough qualified English language teachers to meet the growing needs of EFL students,” commented Humphries. “This year, British Council has introduced a wide range of online teacher training programmes and courses that will help teachers develop their skills and key points during their teaching careers. Humphries added: “This is anywhere-anytime training, with affordability as another significant benefit. The courses are effective, and British Council certification means that they are internationally recognised.” British Council has also untilized Facebook to draw teachers to its ‘TeachingEnglish’ page, which is a spin-off to the popular English Language Teaching Professionals Network (ELTPN), which currently has over 150,000 teachers from across the MENA region. “Our ‘TeachingEnglish’ Facebook page is a forum where teachers are actively discussing issues and challenges facing them and their students in the region and around the world. Additionally, teachers from across the MENA region and UK are interacting to share best practices and the latest in teaching, training and tools,” explained Humphries. “We have noticed that our private and government partners in the region are taking notice of the dialogue and are responding with interest
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