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British Council - Understanding English Language Teaching and Learning for Children and Young Adults

2020 - 2021
Lead M&E Consultant(s)
Simon Borg
Project Overview
Two international consultants are currently conducting this research, supported by two in-country researchers (one in Central and Southern Iraq and one in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq). Borg is one of the international consultants, with specific responsibility for reviewing English in formal education in the country. This includes schools and universities. For the university sector, the work is examining two dimensions of English in Iraqi universities: the preparation of teachers of English in the Colleges of Education and the teaching of what is called non-departmental English – i.e., general English courses that all undergraduates and postgraduates must take. The aim of this strand of the work is to understand policy and practice in relation to both pre-service training for English teachers and the teaching of English at university more generally.
Approaches & Outputs
Data relevant to English in higher education in Iraq are being collected both remotely (by Borg) and in country (by the second international consultant and the two local consultants). Various strategies are being used, including individual meetings, focus group discussions, surveys, and analyses of documents. The stakeholders contributing data officials from the Ministry of Higher Education, professors at Colleges of Education, and teachers of non-departmental English. The analysis of English in Higher Education in Iraq will be a key section in a final report which will be delivered in December 2021.
Impact On
This is an important strategic research assignment for the British Council. The recommendations in the report will provide the basis for the British Council’s strategy for supporting English teaching and learning in Iraq, with potential impacts on the quality of pre-service teacher education that is provided for teachers of English and on the quality of English classes that undergraduates and postgraduates in Iraq receive.
Access to higher education stakeholders must be obtained through official channels and this led to delays in organising meetings; the M&E team’s ability to select stakeholders has also been limited given that these stakeholders are very often officially nominated to attend.
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