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August 2005 Issue
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Chinese teachers go back to school to learn new English skills

 Lifelong Learing

China's "open door" policy to the West has paved the way for a unique English-teaching opportunity for the University of Adelaide.

And Dalian, a major port of north-eastern China and a trading gateway for all of northern China, is already benefiting from their municipal government's grant for introducing English training programs to local English teachers with the purpose of improving teaching standards in Dalian.

"When the Dalian Education Bureau sought an overseas education provider to tailor an English training and teaching methodology program to local secondary school teachers, our English Language Centre was selected to run the program," said Ms Liz Pryzibilla, Director of the University's Centre for Professional and Continuing Education.

"We duly signed an MOU with the Dalian Education Bureau and will run the program for the next three years."

The English and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) methodology program is over 12 weeks for practising primary and secondary school teachers.

The program provides a combination of English language training and English teaching methodology, and incorporates cultural and industry specific activities.

The program has a practical focus with observation of experienced TESOL teachers working in schools, English language centres, colleges and universities. Sixty-seven Dalian teachers arrived in mid-June and depart mid-September.

Ms Pryzibilla said the Dalian Bureau of Education has committed scholarships for 100 teachers per year to go overseas to improve their English language proficiency, to learn new teaching methodologies and to experience another culture.

"Participants can choose to do their training in Adelaide, Singapore or London. Of the 100 scholarship winners this year, 67 chose Adelaide."

Ms Pryzibilla said the need for quality English language teachers both locally and overseas prompted the introduction of a Certificate in TESOL. The four-week intensive course is for individuals who wish to gain a practical qualification in TESOL.

"The course is aimed at people looking to teach English as a second language in Australia or overseas, and who wish to gain a qualification in TESOL," she said.

"They may be currently teaching ESL (English as a second language) overseas, or in Australia, or may plan to do so in the future."

The program is accredited as a Certificate IV within Australia and provides the minimum qualification required to teach TESOL.

It provides essential training in the use of communicative methods, lesson planning and classroom practice. The program can also be customised for groups of participants from Australian or international institutions.

Story by Howard Salkow

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PCE’s Erica Smith (middle) with Dalian teachers Carrol and Peter
Photo by Ben Osborne

PCE's Erica Smith (middle) with Dalian teachers Carrol and Peter
Photo by Ben Osborne

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