‘The workshops contain many interesting games, activities and techniques for every skill to adapt in the classroom to excite my students e.g. classroom language, board race, lesson planning, instructions for activities and many interesting activities for practicing pronunciation’ writes a Vietnamese secondary English teacher commenting on the Certificate in Secondary English Language Teaching (CISELT) training she has just received.
She is one of the 60 secondary teachers from the city of Hai Duong, located 58 kilometres north of Hanoi, Vietnam who are currently following a blended version of the global British Council CISELT(Certificate in Secondary English Language Training), the in-service English language methodology course written by British Council ELT professionals working globally. Every month, 3 groups of teachers meet for 2 days of workshops and in between study online.
This is the first time CISELT has been delivered in Vietnam and also the first blended online course. In service methodology training for secondary teachers is an important part of MOET’s 2020 National Foreign Language Projects goals that aim to upgrade the standard of English language teaching in all Vietnamese schools to produce high school graduates competent in speaking English. Under the project, MOET provides funding for all secondary school teachers to undergo 60 hours of secondary English language teaching methodology.
Hai Duong DOET chose the blended course option due to the difficulties of taking busy secondary English teachers out of the classroom to attend 60 hours of training. They were also attracted to the fact that the course is based on the practical application of methodology for the classroom and aims to combine theory with good practice. The assignments are classroom based and allow teachers to test ideas learnt in workshops which encourage the teachers to practically apply the ideas they learn from the workshops.
Online learning is also a new concept for many of the teachers on the course and to begin with there were quite a few problems getting started but participants are getting used to the idea. As one participant said ‘Online learning gives me the opportunity to study in my own time when I am less busy with work or my family’.
The three groups have another month of training to go and it is hoped that key teachers will be selected from the groups and be given further training so they are able to cascade what they have learnt to other teachers in the province.