Nam Dinh – from teachers to facilitators
Between September and December 2020, 150 primary, lower and upper secondary teachers in Nam Dinh province took part in a series of six teacher training workshops aimed at further enhancing their teaching skills. Over the past six years, since 2015, we have trained more than half of the province’s 1,500 teachers as part of our Teaching for Success approach to teacher development and CPD.
For five of the groups, their training comprised not only receiving input from professional teacher trainers but also having the opportunity to plan and deliver actual lessons for students in local schools, all while being observed and receiving constructive feedback from their peers as well as their British Council trainers. Indeed, many teachers said how challenging but rewarding they found this aspect of the training course.
I have learnt efficient teaching methods and practical techniques on how to make students engaged and motivated in the lessons, how to manage classroom and where to get materials and resources. I also gained valuable teaching experiences from the British Council trainer and colleagues.
(feedback from a teacher in Nam Dinh)
The sixth group, comprised a select group of teachers from all three school levels, all of whom had already received British Council training in previous years. This select group of key teachers were identified as having the potential to become budding teacher trainers themselves. Under British Council’s expert guidance, the group set about outlining, planning and designing three workshops for their peers. Finally, in December 2020, they themselves facilitated workshops to their fellow Nam Dinh teachers covering topics as diverse as teaching vocabulary to primary students through games and activities, how to motivate lower secondary students in speaking lessons, and activities to teach writing skills to Grade 10 students (upper secondary).
Looking to the future, we hope to continue collaborating with Nam Dinh DOET and its key teachers to ensure the sustainability of teacher development across the province.
Can Tho – from teachers to mentors
Between December 2020 and March 2021, approximately 100 primary, lower and upper secondary teachers in Can Tho province took part in a series of teacher training workshops, designed to continue their professional development. Over the past four years we have trained almost a third of the province’s 1,000 teachers as part of our Teaching for Success approach.
For three of the groups, their training was similar to that in Nam Dinh comprising a mixture of professional input with observed output. Due to the re-emergence of Covid-19, it was not always possible to teach in schools. However, when this was the case, teachers could ‘micro-teach’ to their peers (role-playing as students) then receiving constructive feedback from their peers as well as their British Council trainers.
Indeed, due to Covid-19, the delivery of both projects in Nam Dinh and Can Tho were supported by experienced teaching colleagues from our Teaching Centres, who could share their own experiences of teaching and working with Vietnamese learners.
I have learnt good methods and many useful activities to create interesting lessons and this make my teaching more meaningful and professional.
(feedback from a teacher in Can Tho)
The fourth group, comprising a select group of key upper secondary teachers, all of whom had already received British Council training in previous years, were identified as having the potential to become future mentors of their fellow teachers across Can Tho. Over the four week course, they explored different aspects of teaching, mentoring and supporting other teachers to take responsibility for their own professional development. The key teachers were also introduced to the concept of Teacher Activity Groups (TAGs, see below) and how they could facilitate them.
Can Tho pioneers Teacher Activity Groups (TAGs)
Finally, in January 2021, we completed a series of workshops and experimental CPD (continuing professional development) activities known as Teacher Activity Groups (TAGs for short). Having originally commenced in November 2019, as a series of four CPD visits, the original schedule was affected by Covid-19 and could only recommence in October 2020, once schools were back to normal and teachers were available.
With the participation of more than 100 teachers in six groups across different districts and school levels, with a maximum 20 teachers in each group, participating teachers used these TAGs to share challenges, network with fellow teachers and suggest practical solutions to the challenges posed. While three of the TAG sessions were held face to face, one was held online, showing the flexibility of this format. In between the monthly sessions, teachers were encouraged to share questions and challenges through dedicated Zalo groups, as a means of communicating with one another and supporting each other’s professional development.
Looking to the future, we hope to continue collaborating with Can Tho DOET and its key teachers to ensure the sustainability of teacher development across the province, including through the of TAGs (see below).
How can I continue my own professional development?
If you are a teacher in any one of Vietnam’s 63 provinces, not just Nam Dinh or Can Tho, you can find plenty of free teaching resources on our TeachingEnglish website. It contains links to free articles, activities and lesson plans, as well as training events and webinars. You may also like to sign up to join our global British Council Facebook Teacher Community with almost 60,000 members or Vietnam’s very own ELT Vietnam Facebook page with some 8,000 members. We hope to see you there.