British Culture and Teaching Roadshow Community of Practice

As part of an ongoing Latvian Association of Teachers of English (LATE) British Culture and Teaching Roadshow outreach project, run in collaboration will the British Council in Latvia, 48 English language teachers from the Latgale region joined a Telegram-based Community of Practice group. The group was set up at the end of LATE’s British Culture and Teaching Roadshow, which visited Daugavpils, Rēzekne, Ludza and Balvi during the school holidays in October last year.

Robert Buckmaster, LATE’s Vice President, has been supporting the teachers through the Telegram group with materials, teaching ideas and seminars. This phase of the project will be completed at the end of March. There have been 6 seminars held with the teachers – on reading skills, writing skills, modal verbs and presentation skills. Rob has also led online discussions on the requirements of the Yr 9, 11 and 12 State School Examinations with a focus on the speaking and writing papers and what students have to do in these. He has also supplied the teachers with methodology articles, and links to specific material from the British Council Teaching English , Learning English Kids and Teens websites. This included, for example, material to use at Christmas, Easter, St. David and St. George’s Days.

This phase of the project was an experiment in how to support English teachers in their work on a day-to-day basis, throughout the year, rather than this professional development being focused on seminars and workshops at events such as the Latvian Association of Teachers of English Annual Conference which is held in Riga in August every year. The response of the teachers to the seminars and other group activities has been very positive and encouraging so far, and LATE and the British Council are looking forward to continuing their engagement with these teachers and others in the Latgale region in the future.