Thousands of UK students to benefit from new overseas teaching scheme
13 July 2012
Thousands of UK university students could gain vital overseas experience under a new scheme launched by the British Council and the Thai government.
Under the Thailand English Teaching Project, UK undergraduates and recent graduates will support the teaching and learning of English in Thai schools.
The first 67 British volunteers will shortly arrive in Bangkok to take part in an induction programme on 23 and 24 July. After this, they will leave to work as English Teaching Assistants in host schools across Thailand. They will stay for 8 weeks, until mid-September.
The British Council is committed to creating more opportunities for young people to gain international skills. Research last year by the British Council and Think Global revealed that three quarters of the UK’s business leaders were concerned that young people’s horizons were not broad enough to operate in a globalised economy. The project will help to develop more rounded and employable UK graduates with an international outlook. The project will also support the skills development of Thai school pupils who face a more internationally competitive global world in which English is an essential skill.
Language Assistants will work together in the classroom with Thai teachers of English and support extra-curricular activities outside of classroom hours. They will bring British Council resources to the schools and use these to help teach and motivate the pupils.
It is expected that the scheme will be expanded to involve 500 UK students next year and 1000 UK students a year from 2014.
The English Teaching Assistants come from 14 UK Universities including Nottingham Trent, Manchester Metropolitan, Queens University Belfast and SOAS. They will be placed in pairs across Thailand, working in Primary and Secondary Schools in both the state and private sectors.
Chris Gibson, the British Council’s Country Director in Thailand, said: “The British Council is extremely proud to launch the Thailand English Teaching Project 2012 with the Ministry of Education. There is real benefit for both sides here. The UK English Teaching Assistants will themselves get invaluable experience of Thai culture, language and education and return home with a hugely increased international outlook. Thai Learners will have the opportunity to learn from and practice their English language with young people from the UK. It’s win-win.”
The British Ambassador to Thailand, His Excellency Mr Asif Ahmad, said: “Thailand's aspirations to develop its economy, to take part in international education, to engage with regional and global organisations depend in large part on the ability of its citizens to be competent and confident users of English. The ASEAN community will put this into sharp focus, when English will be the common language of South East Asia, not just at the highest levels of government, but throughout business, education and the cultural world. With English as a basic skill in all of these interactions, Thailand's competitiveness is very much linked to its ability to teach its citizens the language. This project is designed to support that effort.”
For more information, contact Tim Sowula in the British Council Press Office on 0207 389 4871 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
The UK universities involved in the scheme are:
Bishop Grosseteste University College; Canterbury Christ Church University; Heythrop College, University of London; University of Leeds; Leeds Metropolitan University; University of Leicester; University of Liverpool; Manchester Metropolitan University; Newman University College Birmingham; Northumbria University; Nottingham Trent University; Queens University Belfast; School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London; University of Wolverhampton
About the British Council:
The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations.
Our 7000 staff in over 100 countries work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes.
We earn over 75% of our annual turnover of nearly £700 million from services which customers pay for, education and development contracts we bid for and from partnerships. A UK Government grant provides the remaining 25%. We match every £1 of core public funding with over £3 earned in pursuit of our charitable purpose.