For the ones not familiar with the Hornby Trust , here goes some basic information. The Trust was created by A.S. Hornby, who was also the creator of the Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary, with the objective of helping teachers from less developed countries and countries in transition to further their studies in the UK. Every year the Hornby Trust and the British Council award scholarships to teachers to do their MA degrees in a partner academic institution in the UK. I am an Alumnus myself: I did my Masters in TESOL Education at the University College Plymouth St Mark and St John in 2008-09 thanks to a Hornby Scholarship and I have very found memories of that. More information is available on the Hornby Trust website.
Every year, as part of their programme, Hornby Scholars organise a group presentation at IATEFL Conference. This year’s Hornby scholars presented their ‘experiences of how aspects of ELT work successfully in very different contexts across the globe.’ Aspects explored included ‘ways of teaching, motivating learners, educational leadership and planning, and ELT materials design. They showed what factors support their success and help ELT work in action.’
Here is an interview with this year’s scholars. Fadhel Abdullah from Yemen, Evelin Ojeda from Venezuela and Timothy Bata Hyna from Nigeria where they share how they became Hornby scholars and the experiences they’ve had in the programme so far.
And here is the interview given by Awgichew Arega and Getachew Melaku Yitbarek from Ethiopia where they discuss their research on teacher development from both an autonomous and a structured view point.
However, Hornby Scholars work and involvement with the larger ELT community does not end when they go back to their countries. On the contrary, once a Hornbie, always a Hornbie! Alumni also have the opportunity to come back to the UK to present their work at IATEFL and here are the sessions given by three of them.
Florence Muluh, from Cameroon, presented on ‘Overcoming the challenges of teaching speaking in a multilingual context.’ In her session she discussed ‘research carried out into the teaching of English language speaking skills in Cameroon secondary schools. This showed that small-scale changes in teachers’ practice could improve the learning of speaking skills.’ She also presented ‘some of the interactive speaking activities that these teachers then developed to complement the coursebooks in use.’ I attended Florence’s session and I was really impressed by her work.
Laxman Gnawali, from Nepal, presented a session called ‘Showcasing a trainer preparation programme for ELT.’ This session ‘discussed how teacher trainers are prepared in the Nepalese context. It looked at the local conditions and how the course has been developed to meet the local needs. It discussed how participants themselves reflected on the course and put what they learned into practice. It also discussed particular lessons to help others establish a similar programme.’
Kalyan Chattopadhyay, from India, is also an Alumni and presented a session called ‘Social networking sites for CPD of Indian English teachers.‘ He focussed on ‘how Indian English teachers are using a variety of social networking sites in their social lives and professional contexts. Drawing on that, he suggested ways to make pedagogic use of these sites for supporting teachers’ continuous professional development, and demonstrated how they may fit into teacher development programmes.’
The 2011-12 scholars are: Awgichew Arega Abebe (Ethiopia), Getachew Melaku Yitbarek (Ethiopia), Baka Timothy Hyua (Nigeria), Yosra Hamid Abdelkareem (Sudan), Hawpage Dona Bimali Niroshini (Sri Lanka), Mala Palani Palanichamy (India), Manisha Kundanmal Dak (India), Evelin Amada Ojeda Naveda (Venezuela), Ricardo Llanos Garcia (Mexico), Nargiza Kuchkarova (Uzbekistan), Akhter Jahan (Bangladesh), Yohana Gratiana (Indonesia), Fadhel Mohammed Ahmed Abdullah (Yemen), Nadeem Abdulbaqi Abdullah Al- Murshedi (Yemen). Facilitated by Martin Wedell (Leeds University).