Case study

English language teaching in India

Our English language teaching work in India directly helps to improve the life chances of children; using our leading expertise, we train teachers on English language teaching techniques to ensure that teaching is both engaging and accessible.

We deliver four major English language teaching projects for three clients:

  • EPEP (Enhancing Proficiency in English Programme) funded by HSBC Software Development Pvt Ltd, India;
  • ARISE (All Round Improvement in School Education) funded by Tech Mahindra Foundation in Hyderabad; 
  • EPEL (Enhancing Proficiency in English Language) in Yadgir funded by Tata Trusts; 
  • ELEP (English Language Enhancement Programme) funded by Tata Trusts in Jharkhand.

We have designed a programme of content, Proficiency in English, or PIE, to assist school-children from grades 1 to 10, who have little or no exposure to English. Much of the education in rural India is done in the vernacular or local language however, most of the competitive examinations for higher education and employment are set in English. By targeting our interventions, we are helping to improve the life chances of marginalised children.

We have developed a pedagogy that is both accessible and engaging – informed not only by our research programme but also by our other English language teaching work around the world. We adopt a storyboard-based programme approach to familiarise learners with English through storytelling, role plays and language games.

Comprehensive training and support for teachers

A three-pronged approach is employed for delivery: centralised training; distance training and 'hands-on' training in the schools. We improve the English language proficiency of the teachers through preparatory teacher training that takes place at the beginning of each academic year to improve proficiency as well as through ongoing monthly content-based teacher training to improve pedagogy. We support our teachers in school and have developed a suite of materials and resources such as storyboards, worksheets and lesson plans and we provide display material, flash cards and other equipment where required. We adopt a cluster approach with one coordinator for each cluster of eight schools and our coordinators are also trained and assessed regularly.