Building the Capacity of English Language Primary School Teachers
UNESCO has recently launched a project that utilizes mobile phones to help teachers improve the English language literacy skills of primary school students in central Nigeria. Participating teachers sign up for a service which sends them richly formatted messages containing education content and pedagogical advice via a platform called NokiaLife+.
The service, named “English Teacher,” can be freely accessed on inexpensive handsets common in Nigeria. Holistically, the project represents one of the first attempts to employ mobile technology to improve the capacity of primary school teachers in West Africa.
Teachers who sign up for the service receive one message per day for over a year. The NokiaLife+ technology ensure that carrier fees are kept to an absolute minimum for end-users by condensing data.
The content was developed by the British Council and draws on the organization’s 75 years of experience building resources for English language teachers. Working with Nokia, British Council tailored the content specifically for use on mobile devices and for teachers working with large classes in resource-poor schools.
Thematically-organized and sequential modules, generally broken across one or two week periods, teach primary school instructors strategies to encourage leaner independence, cultivate different learning preferences, and reflect on their personal teaching practices, while providing links to relevant outside resources.