Peru and Chile, two countries in the Pacific Alliance, face similar challenges in their public education systems; they have ambitions for bilingualism, but have low English levels and teacher capacity and not enough specialists to make this change in education happen.
Exploratory Action Research
British Council Chile began implementing a successful Champion Teachers scheme in 2013 to empower English teachers to make change in the classroom possible, thanks to Exploratory Action Research, a model proposed by Dr. Richard Smith from the University of Warwick. In this approach, teachers carry out small-scale, practically useful research in order to understand a given situation and, on that basis, plan to bring about change.
In 2017, Chilean Master Mentor, Dr. Paula Rebolledo, began to cascade the model to Peru. Working in partnership with Ministries of Education, teacher researchers from both countries explore, interact and experience transformation in the classroom.
The programme allows teachers to become independent, empowered decision makers, improving the way they teach English to thousands of students in their countries and becoming allies to their governments as they try to reach national bilingual targets. There are also benefits to the UK; higher English achievements in these countries opens opportunities for the UK Education sector to broaden their market positioning and increase inbound student mobility ratios.
"This has been an eye opening experience. Now we teachers can really make a change in ELT in Peru"- Francisco Butrón, Teacher, 2017