Edinburgh College is working in partnership with SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College) and Sunderland College to complete a major feasibility study on setting up a brand new agricultural institute in Panama. This will tackle vital skills gaps in Panama’s large agricultural sector and provide routes to employment for young people.
This partnership strongly reflects Edinburgh College’s values and enables us to offer the benefit of our expertise and experience in terms of:
This project is being delivered for the Panamanian Ministry of Agriculture and is the latest stage in Edinburgh College’s well-established relationship with Panama.
Panama Bilingüe – Language immersion and teacher development
In 2015 Edinburgh College became one of the first institutions in the UK to be awarded a contract to train Panamanian English language teachers, as part of the Panamanian Government’s “Panama Bilingüe” programme. Panama Bilingüe is a five-year programme which aims to achieve a step change in English language competency in Panama by upskilling up to 10,000 teachers in English language and pedagogy. The programme was launched in 2014 by President Juan Carlos Varela Rodriguez and is run centrally through the Panamanian Ministry of Education (MEDUCA).
Edinburgh College has so far welcomed over 300 English Language teachers to Edinburgh in 15 cohorts. These have included in-service elementary and high school teachers, who follow 8-week programmes, and pre-service elementary school teachers, who follow 16-week programmes.
In addition to General English classes to improve their English Language competency, the teachers have undertaken methodology training covering topics including classroom management, teaching vocabulary, grammar presentation techniques, communicative activities, and developing skills. Participants use ideas and examples from the input sessions to develop materials and activities which they can use in their own classrooms and try out the new ideas and techniques in peer teaching assignments.
As the courses have taken place in Edinburgh, trainees have had the opportunity to observe English Language classes at Edinburgh College, to visit local schools to compare with their own teaching contexts, and to stay with homestay hosts, giving them a complete immersion experience of the language and culture of Scotland.
The project has been a great success, and Edinburgh College looks forward to receiving more teachers from Panama in the coming months.
To find out more about our Panama Bilingue project watch the video
and hear from our students.
Upskilling Teachers in Central Asia – Armenia, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan
In 2018 Edinburgh College was chosen by the British Council to provide intensive teacher training programmes to in-service teachers from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan.
Edinburgh College welcomed a group of 16 experienced primary and secondary English teachers to Edinburgh in January 2018 to study a one-week intensive training course.
The course focused on the theory and practice of communicative language teaching, reflective teaching and learner-centred approaches. The course was very hands-on, including opportunities for micro-teaching, enabling participants to try out new techniques.
The teachers also had the opportunity to experience Scottish culture and explore the historic city of Edinburgh.
A group of 30 primary and secondary English teacher from Azerbaijan visited Edinburgh in March 2018 to take part in a one-week intensive teacher training course.
As this was part of the same British Council project as the group from Armenia, the course followed a similar programme, aimed at improving the skills and techniques of this group of teachers.
The teachers also had the opportunity to improve their own English ability through real-life interactions with their homestay hosts and through social and cultural activities in Edinburgh.
In addition, two teacher trainers from Edinburgh College visited Baku in February 2018 to deliver a one-week trainer training course to teacher trainers in Azerbaijan, again funded by the British Council.
Edinburgh College was also chosen by the British Council to run a 4-week course in teaching methodology, English language development and British culture for a group of four English teachers from Uzbekistan.
This course was finely tuned to the needs of the participants and provided them with the opportunity to reflect on and improve their teaching methodology while immersing themselves in an English language environment for a month.
The programme involved a wide range of social and cultural activities within Edinburgh and Scotland, including visits to the Scottish Parliament and trying out Scottish dancing at a ‘ceilidh’. Classroom sessions also provided opportunities to learn more about key aspects of British society and culture.
China – ELT Teacher Training
Edinburgh College has been working with educational departments in China since 2004, delivering bespoke English language teacher training programmes, as well as courses designed to prepare candidates for Cambridge ICELT (In-service Certificate in English Language Teaching) and TKT (Teaching Knowledge Test).
In autumn 2016, July 2017 and July 2018, Edinburgh College tutors have delivered bespoke training courses to cohorts of 100 teachers in Guangzhou. The format of this course is four weeks of online tasks completed by distance learning, and four weeks of face-to-face training in Guangzhou. The online component prepares candidates for the work they will carry out during the face-to-face course, and refreshes their current knowledge. Participants complete online tasks and reading, as well as completing self-reflection and observation tasks in their own classrooms. The face to face course is divided into four main components: (a) language in the classroom (b) methodology (teaching grammar) (c) methodology (teaching skills) and (d) materials evaluation and design.
In 2014 Edinburgh College tutors travelled to Beijing to deliver Cambridge TKT preparation training to 300 primary, middle and high school teachers, again following the 4+4 model of online training followed by face-to-face classes in China.