June 30, in a small room in Dohuk City, Julieta’s face appears on a screen as she discusses methods of teaching grammar and vocabulary with a group of English language teachers from Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Julieta is beamed out of Argentina and she is one of the 3 Remote Teaching Centre trainers engaged in delivering English teacher training, which is a pilot training under the theme Language for Resilience conducted by British Council Iraq in partnership with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
Braving through power cuts and minor technical issues, the 8 NRC contracted teachers participated in the 4 days intensive training course. The training aims to prepare teachers to deliver English language courses as part of NRC’s Youth Empowerment pilot project for 18 – 25 year olds from Syrian refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities in Dohuk, the city with the highest concentration of refugees and IDPs in KRI, to strengthen their skills and employability opportunities. It is the first time in Iraq that British Council’s innovative remote teaching is utilized in our training activities. In the current difficult and volatile environment in many parts of Iraq, the remote teaching model provides a possible solution to the problem of access to quality English training that many partners and institutions face – a solution that is cost effective and that could provide wide reach.
NRC Language courses will commence with the first cohort of 60 learners from July – Sept 2016, followed by another cohort of 60 students for a second 3 months’ language course. Throughout the delivery of the language courses, weekly follow up and support sessions will be provided for the teachers by the British Council Remote Teaching Centre.