The English for Success project is designed for English language and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) teachers teaching through the medium of English in Atyrau and Mangystau regions, Kazakhstan. The project is being implemented by the British Council in partnership with the University of Leicester, UK and fully funded by Tengizchevroil LLP (TCO), as part of their Social Investment Programme.
A one-year pilot of the programme took place in Atyrau oblast during 2018. Training was carried out according to an innovative cascade model, in which a core team of teachers was first trained, and then cascaded their training to about 500 English and STEM teachers from each district of the Atyrau region. This model was reconsidered for the implementation in Mangystau oblast in a longer two-year term.
The aim of the two-year programme in Mangystau is to develop English language and STEM teachers’ pedagogical expertise, in order to foster their students’ skills. 90 STEM and 90 English language teachers from Aktau City and 3 districts (Tupkaragan, Karakiya and Beineu) of Mangystau region have taken part in the programme so far.
The English for Success programme reflects a robust and effective model of teacher development. Components that educational research identified as essential, are embedded within the programme structure. The teachers gain enhanced pedagogical and reflective skills for English and STEM education, including improved capability in inquiry and problem-based learning, action research, and development of teaching resources that use Kazakh contexts for learning.
Because of the outbreak of COVID-19, the project team moved from full-time to online training through a series of webinars and tutorials, video lessons and an online competition, as well as other distance training methods. Annual project fairs to demonstrate and celebrate project results through poster exhibitions and teacher-led seminars can also be converted to an online format.
Project management supports effective implementation to ensure sustainability. The steering group was set up from senior representatives of all key stakeholders who regularly review progress against objectives and shape project activities.