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Opportunities to learn through Remote Language Teaching (Cuba, June 2018)


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Plenary given at 4th British Council ELT Conference in Havana, 20th June 2018

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Opportunities to learn through Remote Language Teaching (Cuba, June 2018)

  1. 1. Opportunities to Learn through Remote Language Teaching 20th June 2018 British Council Uruguay
  2. 2. Agenda 1. Remote Language Teaching: Overview Remote Language Teaching - Ceibal en Ingles (RLT in Uruguay) 2. Research findings Student results 2014-17 – Quality Management (observations) 3. Practical pedagogical applications RT skills – Team Teaching – Learning from Case Studies 4. Questions & Answers
  3. 3. Remote Language Teaching: overview
  4. 4. What is Remote Language Teaching? • Synchronous (i.e. in real time) interactive online meetings of teachers and learners through videoconferencing (VC) in order to learn and practise a language • Context specific (low cost/high cost varieties adaptable to available infrastructure and local contexts) • Teachers and learners can be anywhere there is Internet access
  5. 5. Why use Remote Language Teaching? To solve the problem of the shortage of English teachers across the country. To bridge the social divide and give opportunities to children and teachers who otherwise would be excluded. To provide teachers and trainers to places and people where there are problems with supply. To offer new opportunities for teachers to work in an interesting and different way.
  6. 6. RLT in context: Ceibal en Ingles • 3,000 weekly classes of 80,000 9-11 yr-olds in 650 primary schools • Project is now in its 5th year and starting to show results • Purpose-made VC equipment and dedicated fibre-optic lines • High-definition visuals / zooming and panning / reliable See 4 minutes of a Plan Ceibal class in action:
  7. 7. How is it done? • 1x45 minute class for groups of up to 25 children delivered by remote teacher (Lesson A) • Followed by 2x45 minute practice sessions (Lessons B & C) delivered by local classroom • Relationship between remote teacher and local classroom teacher are key to the success of this project.
  8. 8. Curriculum • 3x45 minute lessons per week • Core syllabus of 30 weeks per level x 3 levels = 200+ hours • 67.5 hours planned classroom instruction per level • Aim = students to move from A0-A2 level (CEFR) in 3 years • Can do statements for programme developed, adapted from CEFR
  9. 9. Results & Research Findings Is remote teaching effective?
  10. 10. Student assessment
  11. 11. 2013 Impact Test 40 questions
  12. 12. 2015-2017 Adaptive Test CEFR descriptors for 2016 adaptive test
  13. 13. Student performance  59.4% students reached an A2 level in VRG and 37.7% reached A2 in L
  14. 14. Comparison of programmes  Reults were similar in the two programmes (VC & F2F)
  15. 15. Development of results  Student performance in the test is improving over time
  16. 16. Results: VRG 6th grade by socio-economic context  Results are improving in all socio-economic contexts  The difference between high and low critical context school students has decreased since 2014 44.0% 47.0% 52.2% 55.7% 70.4% 52.7% 58.5% 63.1% 69.8% 77.8% 69.2% 71.1% 72.8% 77.3% 83.2% 71.6% 72.9% 78.2% 82.2% 87.8% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% 80.0% 90.0% 100.0% Nivel 1 más crítico Nivel 2 Nivel 3 Nivel 4 Nivel 5 menos crítico (En % de alumnos de 6º que obtuvieron A2 o +) 2014 2015 2016 2017
  17. 17. Quality Management • The British Council’s Quality Management system set up for Plan Ceibal’s remote teaching programme is the largest in the British Council global network • In the 5 year period from 2013 to 2017, Quality Managers (QMs) based in Uruguay, Argentina and the Philippines conducted over 1,000 observations of remote English lessons • During this same period, the QM team carried out over 50 evaluations of remote teaching centre operations • QMs are also instrumental in context-specific CPD for teachers, planning and delivering induction face-to-face and online training sessions based on needs, facilitating induction for new teachers and working with individuals when necessary.
  18. 18. Practical pedagogical applications
  19. 19. What have we discovered? • Team teaching. For the programme to be effective, RTs and CTs need to work closely together. Research has shown how best to facilitate this: regular coordination, language used and mutual respect are the key factors. • RT skills. Many factors look similar to what is required in good f2f primary teaching. Other factors are special to remote teaching: use of technology, body language and voice, camera presence, relationship building at a distance, e-moderation skills • Recuitment. We interview via Skype to get a feel for the online presence of the RT and to make sure they are not phased by technology. However, first and foremost, the RTs need to be good with primary
  20. 20. Other RLT projects • Remote teacher training to Cuba. • Teacher training into Iraq. To train teachers in Iraq from Argentina to prepare them to teach Syrian and Iraqi refugees. • Teaching Spanish to UK. Supporting Spanish language classes in London with remote lessons from Buenos Aires. • Cuauhtémoc Connected. Teaching English remotely to Mexican secondary schools from Argentina. • Language for resilience. Teaching Spanish to Syrian refugees to Argentina. • Computational thinking. A new Plan Ceibal programme in Uruguay to teach primary students computational thinking. Using home-based teachers of IT to deliver classes in Spanish.
  21. 21. What next? Planned for July 2018: British Council publication on Remote Teaching With special focus on Uruguay’s Ceibal en Ingles.
  22. 22. Questions? Further information: