The British School Jakarta (BSJ) has been present in Jakarta for over 40 years and has a role of 1,450 students aged 3 to 18.
In 2015, BSJ decided to implement the Lexis Education’s Teaching ESL Students in Mainstream Classrooms (TESMC) course, a language-based pedagogy targeted at EAL students.
Shukri Barud, Teacher of IN/EAL at BSJ, became a TESMC tutor in 2017 and has been delivering the course to her colleagues ever since. In this article, she explains why the decision was made to implement the course, how it was rolled out and what its benefits have been for both her as a tutor and her colleagues.
“BSJ has a significant number of EAL students who are either receiving EAL support or are being monitored following previous support, or a referral. However, it could be argued that many students in school fall into the EAL category, as they come from a home where English is not their first language. Interestingly, there are a considerable number of students who speak English as their first language at home although at least one parent speaks a language other than English. It was felt that the TESMC course was a robust and worthwhile form of CPD for equipping mainstream teachers with training designed to meet the needs of EAL learners in their classrooms.”
“The course has been in place for at least five years, including the last two cohorts that I have led. It currently runs once each academic year, although the initial aim was to lead two cohorts. We aim to fulfil this ambition in the coming year or so. Our latest course began in November 2018 and will end in March 2019. Compared with last year’s course, which took place every 10 days from 3 pm until 5.30 pm from January 2018 to May 2019, current sessions commence at 7.15 am and finish at 10 am, just in time for the morning break.
In 2018, five teachers attended the course: our Head of Faculty for Student Services, a Primary music teacher, a Secondary German teacher, an English teacher and a KS2 Primary classroom teacher. Unfortunately, two colleagues had to withdraw. Admittedly, it was much smaller than we planned. The previous course had 16 participants who successfully gained their TESMC certificate: that course comprised Learning Support Assistants, Primary Year Leaders and IN and EAL teachers.
Our current cohort is involved in a wider CPD Pedagogy project which encompasses the TESMC as a lead in ESL pedagogy, alongside supportive Coaching and Mentoring. The teachers are either Indonesian Studies and/or Indonesian Language teachers, which demonstrates the value the school places on the development of Host National Colleagues.”
Enjoyment and Impact
“I thoroughly enjoyed teaching the TESMC course. Despite the evident demands of the course, in every session and without fail, my colleagues were engaged, motivated and enthusiastic in terms of their commitment, attitude to learning and participation. As their tutor, this was a delight for me to witness.”
“The training I received two years ago now has prepared me well to deliver this course with an initial quiet confidence. As I commence my second cohort of leading the course, this has developed to a much greater degree as I have honed my abilities to deliver it in a purposeful, relevant and professional manner. The reason I believe I have been able to do this is due to the support received via the very comprehensive tutor resources, whose structure and layout have been outstanding and easy to follow. These resources have guided me significantly on my journey to becoming a consistently competent trainer, hopefully doing justice to the first-rate module content I have been fortunate to deliver.”
“This course has been extremely valuable to me. It has reaffirmed my personal beliefs about EAL pedagogy from my own experiences as a bilingual learner/teacher and trainer — hence enabling me to be animated and passionate in my transfer of knowledge, skills and understanding of EAL learners, armed with the extensive, evidence-backed Tutor Resources.
The tutor training I received provided excellent advice regarding housekeeping and delivering the course, in order to do it justice in terms of assisting participants to successfully complete it, in a fair and just manner.”
Feedback from Shukri’s participants
I thoroughly enjoyed the course. I believe the course provided more than just content. Opportunities for reflection, a level of challenge and a real sense of achievement at successful completion of the course. Academically rigorous course content. A must for every educator. Not only in the teaching of EAL students but all students. Helen H.
It was a worthwhile workshop and I am glad that I joined. It’s indeed beneficial for my teaching and hoping all teachers in our school could join as well, as this will give a big impact for students, especially the ESL students.” Yeni P.
Awesome content, awesome teacher. Thank you, Shukri!” Kelly J.
This course provided the opportunity to make connections with the known and to take on board new aspects to improve as an educator. The teaching and learning cycle is so powerful and provides authentic ways to assess and support the development of language learning. Valuable for our school to have a worthwhile course in ‘best practice’. ESL learner numbers are on the increase. To create a culture that embraces diversity within our school is the key. However this needs to be become the norm and the expected approach to teaching and learning. Helen H.
Want to become a TESMC tutor in your school? Learn more about TESMC or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.