The British Council and Commercial Bank joined together on Sunday 27th October to deliver a one day teacher training workshop in Wadduwa to over 200 local teachers. The British Council has been delivering these workshops, known as “Road shows”, to Sri Lankan school teachers across the country for the last 4 years. Previous workshops have been held in Chilaw, Eheliagoda, Vavuniya, Kalutara, Jaffna, Galle, Mahiyangana, Polonnaruwa, Colombo and Kandy and overall around 2,500 teachers have been supported and motivated through these sessions.
The Road show followed the theme “Helping your students to develop speaking skills in English”. A team of eight British Council trainers delivered lively, practical sessions to the primary and secondary teachers who had travelled to Dharmapala Maha Vidyalaya School in Wadduwa for the day.
A series of 4 sessions were delivered, all based around spoken English skills: controlled speaking practice activities, free speaking practice activities, pronunciation activities and maximising students’ talking time. The individual sessions were designed so that teachers could immediately apply some of the new methods and ideas in their own lessons.
This was the first time that a British Council Road show had been funded by a corporate entity. Priyanthi Perera, Coordinator CSR Trust of Commercial Bank, said: “We expect to conduct “Road Shows” of this nature in collaboration with British Council for school teachers of other districts as well because Commercial Bank’s CSR Trust wants to make English a life skill to be owned by all. English in our country has a pragmatic appeal as an instrument of social empowerment. Training the English teachers with the help of the British Council will pave the way to empower children within the school system, we earnestly hope.”
Also supporting the Wadduwa Roadshow, Mrs. Priyani Mudalige, Zonal Director of Education, Kalutara, said: “It is a pleasure to see that Commercial Bank’s CSR Trust and the British Council joining hands to impact the second language teaching skills of English teachers in Wadduwa area. Development of teaching skills of English teachers will have a trickledown effect on the student community which in turn would make them literate in this international language. Consequently, the children of this country will be able to follow lucrative career paths in translation, world business and communication.”
Keith Davies, Country Director for the British Council, said, “This project is about teacher training. It is an example of the effectiveness of the cascade model in training and the strength of public-private partnership. We are delighted to have Commercial Bank to be the first corporate entity to fund our Road show workshops. We are also very much appreciative of the continuous support and endorsement from the Ministry of Education for the British Council’s range of projects and programmes in providing increased access to English language teaching and learning.”
The British Council is already planning to deliver four more Road shows, reaching 800 more teachers, before March next year.