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British Council launches portfolio of new English teaching and learning services at TESOL Arabia 2009 in Dubai
Source: BI-ME , Author: BI-ME staff
Posted: Wed March 18, 2009 11:42 am

INTERNATIONAL. The British Council, the world’s largest English language teaching organisation, launched a range of new global English teaching and learning services in the UAE at the TESOL Arabia 15th annual International Conference which concluded on 14 March.

The new services, most of which are free to users, aim to create very broad access to high quality teaching and learning materials through highly interactive Web 2.0 style online services for teachers, learners and parents.

The new services include teacher content on a single website. A fun learning zone in the teen-only area of Second Life helps facilitate the social-networking and intercultural dialogue that goes on in English as the lingua franca of the virtual environment. ‘LearnEnglish Family’ aims to help teachers and parents combine to support young student learning through online resources.

Another element of the project, ‘Premier Skills’ is a partnership project that uses the brands and networks of the British Council and the Barclays Premier League to build English skills by exploiting the global interest in the Barclays Premier League.

These include the Premier Skills website which has audio, video, and articles about the players, fans, and clubs in the league. All materials on the site have interactive activities for learners and ideas for classroom use for teachers. Among the online materials is a series of interviews with international Premier League footballers talking about how they learned English and their experiences of living in the UK.

Alexandra McGee, Regional English Projects Manager, British Council Middle East, commented: “TESOL Arabia was the perfect opportunity for the British Council to launch a range of new and innovative services for English language teachers and learners, for the first time in the UAE.

"These web-based tools tap into some of the most powerful channels of communication, and brands, especially for young people in an environment that is driven by English. All these services have been designed to enable every teacher and learner of English to have access to high quality resources from the UK.”

According to the British Council, which is the world’s largest English language teaching organisation, English today has become the lingua franca of an increasingly interdependent and globalised world.

In almost every part of the world, including the Arabian Gulf region, the English language is often becoming the first choice for communication among linguistically and culturally diverse people.

The number of current and future users of English in the world is rising and, according to recent estimates, non-native speakers of English have surpassed the number of native English speakers.

TESOL Arabia is the leading professional event for English teachers, which brings together English language professionals from around the world to the GCC to discuss, reflect and develop their ideas.



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