Category Archives: Activity Update

Take Care and Stay Safe

At this difficult time, we are thinking of all those we have worked with over the years across the world, and wishing them, their family and their friends well. We look forward to seeing you again in the not too distant future. Take care all.

Hamish, Rob, Claire & Emma

Lessons in Lviv

Rob spent last week at the Hetman Petro Sahaidachnyi National Army Academy in Lviv, Ukraine, working with 23 teachers on the British Council Certificate in Vocational English Language Teaching course. The teachers were from military training institutions from Lviv, Kharkiv, Odessa and Kamianets-Podilsky. The course was organized by the British Council, the Defence Section of the British Embassy in Kiev and the Ukrainian Defence Ministry.

Teacher Development in Kiev

Rob was in Kiev last week (24 – 28 February 2020) running an ESP Teacher Development Course (based on the British Council CiVELT course) as a joint project of the British Embassy and the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, delivered by the British Council Ukraine. The training involved 16 teachers from Kiev, Poltava and Odessa and was held at the Defence University of Ukraine named after Ivan Cherniakhovskyi.

Claire in Beni-Mellal, Morocco

It has been a busy start to 2020 for McIlwraith Education. As Hamish was heading back from Ethiopia, Claire was on her way to Beni-Mellal, Morocco to support the six local, master trainers as they cascaded the Digital Resources in the Classroom workshop. The trainers worked in pairs, jointly delivering the one-day workshop in three locations, Beni-Mellal, Khouribga & Khawarizmi, reaching over 50 secondary school teachers. The main aims of the workshop were to familiarise the teachers with the British Council’s LearnEnglish Teens site and provide then with the opportunity to practice selecting appropriate content to blend with their course books. Moreover, time was given to planning reading and listening lessons using Teens content.

Claire’s thanks go to the trainers for the hard work they put into their preparation for the workshop and for their professionalism in delivering it. Her thanks also go to the teachers for their enthusiasm during the workshops and she wishes them all the best in delivering their first Teens lessons.

Claire in Beni Mellal, Morocco

Claire has just returned from a work trip to Beni Mellal, Morocco for Phase 2 of the British Council’s Digital Resources in the Classroom project. This phase began with the training of six local expert teacher trainers. Via a predominantly experiential learning approach, they were introduced to a digital resources course that focuses on the selection and use of the British Council’s LearnEnglish Teens in class. They in turn will cascade the training to 150, Year 9 & 10 English teachers in the Beni Mellal region in the New Year. Claire is looking forward to joining them for this stage of the training.

Claire would like to thank the trainers for their hard work and for their constructive suggestions on where alterations to the course should be made before the cascade training takes place. She would also like to thank the Académie Régionale de Béni Mallal Khénifra Region for hosting the event and being so welcoming. Lastly, her thanks to Salma Tbaik, Project Officer, English and Education, British Council for accompanying her on the trip and ensuring that everything ran smoothly.

Rob at the University of Civil Protection in Minsk

Rob was back in Minsk last week, working with twelve English language teachers from the University of Civil Protection of the Ministry for Emergency Situations of the Republic of Belarus, which trains fire-fighters and other rescue personnel. The course was based on the British Council CiVELT course and had a focus on the training of emergency call operators as Belarus is gearing up for the 2nd European Games which will be held in Minsk at the end of June. Rob was most impressed with the enthusiasm and commitment of the English teaching team at the University. The course was organised by the British Council in Ukraine and the British Embassy in Minsk.

In Rabat and Liverpool with Claire

Claire has had a busy couple of weeks. She paid a return visit to Rabat to work with the same group of Middle and High school English teachers on the LearnEnglish Teens ( mapping project. During the two-day workshop they finalised mapping the content from Teens to their Year 9 & 10 coursebooks. The teachers also created lesson plans to accompany the Teens content that they will pilot with their students later this month. They designed some excellent lessons and Claire wishes them every success with the trial.

After Rabat Claire travelled to Liverpool to attend the 53rd International IATEFL Conference ( She focused her attention on sessions related to teaching with technology and trainer development and came away with a couple of ideas to pursue! Best of all she caught up with a number of former colleagues and friends. She was especially delighted to meet the Cuban team, who she had worked with last year with her colleague Alan Pulverness, TransformELT namely, Yailet Landrove, British Council, Dr Santiago Rivera Pérez, Ministry of Higher Education, Dr Eduardo Garbey, University of La Habana, and Zoe Dominguez, University of Matanzas.

Claire in Rabat

Claire recently paid a flying visit to the beautiful and fascinating city of Rabat, Morocco’s capital. She was there to run a two-day workshop for English and subject teachers from Middle and High schools on the British Council’s LearnEnglish Teens website ( The aims of the workshop were to familiarise the participants with the website’s extensive content and to present a template for them to map, in a principled way, this content against their English language coursebooks for Years 9 and 10. The teachers also had the opportunity to practise mapping the digital content, a task that they will complete post workshop in readiness for a short pilot study during which they will use LearnEnglish Teens with their students.

Claire would like to thank the participants for their hard work and insightful input during the workshop and to wish them every success with the pilot study.

A Masterclass in Minsk

Rob spent last week in Belarus delivering a Masterclass in Teaching course for 14 Military Academy teachers at the Central Officer’s Club in Minsk. The course was jointly organised by the Military Academy, the Belarus MOD, the Defence Section of the British Embassy and the British Council in Ukraine. The revised British Council Certificate in Vocational English Language Teaching (CiVELT) course was used as the core of the programme, supplemented with McIlwraith Education materials.

The course considered all aspects of ESP teaching and the teachers were introduced to new ideas and activities for skills based lessons, and vocabulary and grammar teaching. The event was closed by HM Ambassador to Belarus, Ms Fiona Gibb, and Colonel Susha, Deputy Commandant for International Co-operation at the Military Academy.