The Tunisia Teaching for Success Project, funded by the FCO, began in the summer of 2019, with a development phase to produce a range of training materials. Between June 2019 and March 2020, 5000+ primary teachers undertook methodology and language development training in 12 locations across Tunisia. Course participants included a group of 55 recently recruited Ministry of Education English Teaching Advisors (TAs), all former primary school teachers themselves. In addition to contributing to the programme delivery, this was also a developmental opportunity for them to work alongside more experienced teacher trainers.
The project was delivered by a consortium of TransformELT and ELT Consultants. 60+ specialist primary trainers worked with teachers of young learners at beginner levels from state schools across Tunisia, where resources are often limited. The 30-hour teacher training programme, which was activity-based and skills-focused, was designed for Grade 4 primary teachers of English using story as content, and delivered in the following stages:
- 5 consecutive days (Summer Programme)
- 2 days (Winter Programme Phase I)
- 3 days (Winter Programme Phase II)
- Facilitating the use of English among the teachers during sessions
- Modelling/ demonstrating techniques and approaches that are relevant for primary learners
- Organising the teachers to conduct short phases of micro-teaching
- Managing teachers with mixed abilities in English and grading language accordingly
- Considering teachers’ abilities, context and background
- Guiding participants on when the use of their first language may be necessary, and when use of the target language will better support learning
During the period between Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the face-to-face winter programme, teachers on the programme were supported remotely. Trainers provided written feedback on the teachers’ group story drafts and ‘action plans’ (initial lesson plans to trial in the classroom). They also suggested relevant websites for guidance on developing stories, as well as how to deliver them, administered polls to gauge motivation and support, and interacted socially with participants.
The latest innovative addition to the programme, Success on Wheels, has seen the training delivered remotely to primary teachers in rural villages across Tunisia with the help of technology: teachers come together in their local school with a Teaching Advisor, and are then linked up to a remote trainer who guides them through a 2-hour workshop. It is hoped that this training will continue into 2020/2021. The consortium of TransformELT and ELT Consultants would like to thank the British Council team, Tunisia, for their help and support throughout the training.