From 19 to 30 May 2014, British Council Vietnam Master trainers conducted the first CIPELT (Certificate in Primary English) trainer orientation course for lecturers at Saigon University. The British Council is partnering with the university to license British Council training materials in a response to a request for help to set up a primary teaching methodology training course designed for in-service teachers in order for teachers to improve their Primary English teaching skills. The trainers’ course mirrors the teachers’ course ensuring that the trainers have a thorough understanding of all aspects of the British Council course before they deliver it themselves.
The majority of the lecturers attending the trainer orientation are not new to British Council ‘Train the Trainer programmes’ as they are graduates of the British Council Primary Innovations programme delivered in Vietnam since 2007 to build up a cadre of Primary Teacher Trainers. (PTOTs). However, one of the problems still faced by many universities and trainers in the country is a lack of training materials and a need for a ‘systematic and practical programme’ as one of the lecturers highlighted. ‘Saigon University doesn’t have a faculty specializing in primary education but does deliver teaching methodology programmes but not currently in primary teacher training’.
This led to looking at the possibility of licensing British Council teacher training materials to Saigon University. It was decided that the global CIPELT course offered the most suitable training package and this was mapped to the 180 hour Primary training curriculum approved by the Ministry of Education and Training.(MOET). For areas not covered by the course, additional workshops have been written by British Council trainers.
Once the course starts, British Council Master trainers will closely support the lecturers in the first delivery of the course. For every subsequent course run, quality assurance will be carried out to check the course is being delivered to quality global standards. It is hoped that this model will be taken up by other institutions in Vietnam to fill the current void in Primary English Teaching Methodology courses and hence contribute to improving the primary English teaching standards in Vietnam.