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.
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.
Rob is on the way to Kiev after a visit to the Latvian Border Guards on Thursday where he was helping with course development for a joint Latvia Lithuanian Frontex Project.
Last week I was in Addis Ababa at the invitation of the British Council to review the Peacekeeping English Project (PEP) in Ethiopia. I had discussions at the Ethiopian Ministry of National Defence (EMOND), the British Embassy, British Council and the Ethiopian Federal Police Commission (EFCP). I made a visit to the Air Force base in Debre Zeit and also had the opportunity to observe lessons and talk with regionnal co-ordinators of the project. Many thanks to Peter Hare the PEP Manager and the British Council’s Anteneh Gezaghen for organising an extremely interesting and productive visit.
McIwraith Education and the English Ideas Project are proud to announce the first issue of a new free electronic magazine for military, police and border guard English language teachers. Teaching Uniformed Personnel will be published quarterly and sent electronically to teachers who sign up for it.
The first issue can be downloaded from the link above where you can also go to the sign up page. Please share this with anyone you think might be interested.
Rob went to Skopje in September at the invitation of the British Embassy Defence Section, working with the STANAG Testing Team. Rob helped the Team moderate items for listening and reading tests at Level 1 and 2. They also discussed design issues with computer-based tests of listening and reading and compared computer-based delivery with pen and paper tests. Last week he returned to work with the Centre for Foreign Languages on their new curriculum. The Centre is realigning their curriculum and courses to the STANAG descriptors as part of North Macedonia’s joining of NATO. Rob also explored some more ideas of how to integrate IT into lessons with the Centre’s teachers and a teacher from the Military Academy, building on Claire’s earlier work with the teachers. At the same time, Hamish provided distance advice to the Team on approaches to online testing.
Rob’s book, Military English Tactical and Peacekeeping Operations, is now available.
This is a new pre-deployment course for Army personnel who are to be sent on multinational peace support operations, or on training courses in an English language speaking country, or are to be trained by English-speaking instructors. It is an Intermediate | B1 | STANAG 2 Level course.
The course is designed to teach soldiers (enlisted men, NCOs and junior officers) how to operate effectively in multi-national tactical and peacekeeping operations. There are four components to the course: Coursebook, Workbook, Teacher’s Book and Electronic Resources. The Coursebook [378 pages] has 200 lesson-units, providing over 200 hours of study materials including vocabulary learning tasks, reading and listening tasks, briefings, role plays and other speaking tasks. The book is printed in black and white to save costs but there are over 800 colour photos and maps to download. You can buy it from a number of websites including Amazon.
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.
Claire has recently returned from Uzbekistan, her third trip in six months, where she had been running the fifth in a series of NILE led workshops for teachers at the National Guard Institute, as part of a British Council managed teacher development project. This time her focus was developmental lesson observations designed to support the teachers in their work with Campaign, which was introduced in November. She was delighted to observe them in action and to see first-hand how well they are coping with the coursebook. Claire was really impressed by the amount of preparation they put into their lessons, their openness to constructive feedback, and their willingness to act upon it immediately, adapting their techniques by the very next observation.
She would like to thank the National Guard Institute for their warmth and hospitality, and the teachers for their friendship and generosity. Last, but not least, she would like to thank the British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Mr Christopher Allan, for presenting the certificates on the final day, and the British Defence Attaché, Wing Commander Andrew Strefford for accompanying him.
Rob was also out and about last week. He was back in Skopje, Macedonia, working with the STANAG Testing Team, writing and moderating Listening items for Levels 2 and 3.
Congratulations to North Macedonia on the signing of the NATO accession agreement in Brussels yesterday. This is the first step towards full NATO membership, and now all NATO countries need to ratify the agreement. Greece will go first.
Coincidentally, Rob is in Skopje this week working with the STANAG Testing Team on their level 2 and 3 speaking and writing tests, as reliable STANAG tests scores are a key component for interoperability within NATO at all levels, and for selecting the right personnel to take part in multinational peace support operations worldwide.