Azerbaijan teachers benefit from college training course

A group of 32 teachers from Azerbaijan have returned to their classrooms equipped with improved English teaching skills thanks to a course provided by Edinburgh College’s International and college-based English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teams.

The primary and secondary English teachers, the first group to visit the college from Azerbaijan, completed the one-week intensive Teacher Development course at Sighthill Campus. The course aims to help teachers develop the skills and confidence required to deliver subjects to pupils in their home country in English.

During their stay in Edinburgh, the group also got a taste of local life and culture after a visit to Edinburgh Castle and a ceilidh.

Group member Konul Islamova said: “The trainers were always patient and friendly, giving us positive feedback and sharing their experience – they encouraged us a lot.”

Group leader Gulshan Huseynova added: “The tutors, facilities and materials at Edinburgh College were all excellent.”

The group’s visit came hot on the heels of a one-week trainer training course delivered in Baku, Azerbaijan by Sarah Donno, curriculum manager for college-based ESOL and Susan Wren, ESOL teacher trainer.  Both of these courses ran as part of a wider English for Engagement and Employability project run by the British Council and followed a visit by a group from Armenia in January.

The college was also pleased to welcome two representatives from the Ministry of Education in Azerbaijan.  Mr Emin Amrullayev, head of education development programmes and Ms Vafa Yagublu, director of the Educators’ Professional Development Institute joined the group to see the training in action and the progress of the teachers.

International business manager Sarah Gore said: “It was fantastic to welcome this teacher group from Azerbaijan, and to be a part of this regional project with the British Council. English language teacher training continues to be our largest growth area internationally, building on our success of delivering teacher-training projects to teachers mainly from Panama, China and Spain. This has been a wonderful opportunity for us to expand our international portfolio and teacher-training experience in a new region.”