British Council offers route to better English

Wednesday July 4, 2012

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/7/4/nation/11597349&sec=nation

By JEANNETTE GOON
educate@thestar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: Teachers who have trouble motivating their students to learn the English language may find the British Council’s premier skills website useful.

A collaboration between the council and the English Premier League, the site includes interviews with league players from foreign countries who talk about why learning English is important and the challenges that they faced in mastering the language.

Former Chelsea star Didier Drogba even compared learning English to learning football skills.

“It’s like learning football skills because I improved my English. I have to speak English with my mates like Frank Lampard or John Terry because we need to speak the same language on the pitch,” said Drogba in one of the many videos uploaded on the site (www.britishcouncil.org/premierskills).

British Council programmes manager Caspar Mays said these sites were created due to its commitment in sharing its knowledge.

“You don’t have to be a British Council student to access these resources. You don’t even have to be a student.

“It is for anyone interested in learning or teaching English,” he said.

Each of the websites caters to a wide range of learners, from those preparing for exams to those who want to have fun while learning.

“We aim to reach as many people as possible,” said Mays.

The sites are interactive and the resources come in many different formats – from text to videos and even games.

Mays said the British Council, in collaboration with the Education Ministry, had set up a website for English teachers at the primary school level.

Called Engaging Malaysian Schools in English (EMSE) and accesible at http://www.emse.com.my, the site provides syllabus-based resources for Years One to Six.

While the Malaysian-specific content was written by Malaysian English teachers, there are also links that direct to the other websites in the British Council’s online learning suite.

“These sites are completely free and available worldwide,” said Mays.

English for More Opportunities is part of The Star’s on-going efforts to highlight the importance of the language in helping people get ahead in life.

To share your views and inspiring stories or give us feedback, please email englishformore@thestar.com.my

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