The British Council English language teachers online conference was organised by Pro-ELT, the Professional Up-skilling of English Language Teachers system created by British Council for the Malaysian Ministry of Education (MOE). Pro-ELT concentrates on the skills and knowledge advancement of English teachers in primary and secondary schools all over Malaysia.
The conference was made available to everybody interested in English Language teacher advancement and learning of English. ELTC members could join the conference by utilizing their smartphone, tablet, or whatever any gadgets available to them of course with Internet access to join the whole sessions, live webinars, forum discussions, and practical workshops whichever convenient to them.
“The idea of an online conference is becoming more common. We are familiar with TED talks but this is more interactive where there are discussions, questions and so on,” said British Council country director Gavin Anderson.
“We are incredibly proud of what we achieved in Pro-ELT 1 and Pro-ELT 2 to support teachers who have been through the training, to continue to network with each other and access the support and materials we made available for them. A large amount of Pro-ELT was delivered through online learning and we wanted to reinforce that fact,” he added.
Anderson said, “Putting up videos and getting people to watch is great. It serves a purpose but in terms of professional development where people very clearly have a path to go down and an objective at the end, the importance of having e-moderators—people working alongside helping, supporting and guiding—is really big and shouldn’t be underestimated.”
“In the short term, we want to ensure the platform is accessible to everybody. We want teachers to take part, enjoy it and connect with other teachers.
“In the long term, we want teachers to be a lot more self-motivated because professional development and growth comes from within,” said British Council Pro-ELT project director Vanessa Lee.
“British Council’s bigger objective is to focus on cultural, scientific and educational exchange, and the wider learning and teaching of English.
“We do it lots of different ways but when we work with the state sector and the Ministry of Education, we work with teachers because the focus on effective student learning has to be centred in competent, confident, capable and professionally trained teachers. That is what we are focusing on,” Anderson said
We hope this initiatives from British Council Malaysia will continue for as long as it is still needed in Malaysia. This is truly a good thing for our English teachers.