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British Council

When you communicate with clients, your strategies develop; sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. You reflect a lot about what are the things that work or don't work? How to communicate with clients next time? Every client is different.

English Trainer, Gaza Sky Geeks

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Life cycle

2019-ongoing

Country/Region

Occupied Palestinian Territories

Client/Partner

British Council

Vision

To increase the capacity of Palestinian youth to engage with the global digital economy, overcoming two of the most profound challenges namely restrictions on trade and travel by working with and through local institutions.

Situation

@Palestine gives unemployed youth the English and soft skills they need to access employment opportunities through the digital economy as freelancers. With high unemployment rates for university graduates in the country (21 per cent for males and 51 per cent for females), young people are seeking alternatives to traditional employment. Restrictions on trade and travel have encouraged increasing numbers to turn to online work. Strong English language skills can increase the number of opportunities available to them. 

Implementation

The project partnered with Gaza Sky Geeks to develop English for Freelancers, an English for specific purposes course available to individuals and local tech hubs that aims to improve the language skills of new and aspiring freelancers. 

The course consists of 45 hours of blended learning materials, including 12 online modules and corresponding lessons that can be delivered synchronously online or face-to-face. Based on initial research, the course material was tailored to the reported needs of freelancers. The content covers useful language and strategies to help freelancers navigate their way through common work situations; such as writing a tailored proposal, negotiating deadlines and pay and conducting virtual meetings with clients. An additional 20 hours of training materials for course trainers were also created and delivered to an initial group of 12 trainers. This training covered tools for blended teaching, understanding learner needs, and the flipped classroom approach.

Impact 

From 2016-21, TEJAS involved 70 government academics, 800 TAG coordinators and 51,000 teachers. The impact study for the project pilot (2016-19) revealed primary students now have greater opportunities to use English in the classroom due to the improved language of teachers. A total of 76 per cent of observed teachers used English language and learning-centered techniques according to agreed standards, up from 44 per cent before the project began. Due to the encouraging results of the pilot in nine districts, in 2018 the government requested a further roll-out to the remaining 27 districts. The end-line study revealed that over 93 per cent of the students of these teachers actively participated in English lessons. The way in which the Tejas model has successfully adapted to Covid-19 limitations is further evidence of its sustainability and robustness. The Tejas Teacher Activity Groups (TAG) model of teacher development has been adopted in several states of India, as well as in Egypt, Palestine, Pakistan, Romania and Ukraine. This model represents an evolution in approaches to teacher education, which ultimately improves the quality of classroom teaching and learning. 

Mutual benefit

There is an increasing trend in the 21st century for Palestinians to seek entrepreneurial outsourcing service models across borders to generate income. Desk research and partners cite a lack of sufficient English language and 21st Century skills (and not technical competency) as the main barrier to success. We believe that better teaching and learning of English increases academic and career opportunities and enables people to participate actively in a global society. 

The project aims to bring together a network of Palestinian and international actors in supporting Palestinian participation in the global digital economy. This helps to build a community of practice and policy influence through relevant and impactful research and thought pieces.