Partnership will utilise online resources to offer unique opportunities

Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) has begun a new partnership with Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University (NRRU) in Thailand to provide language and teaching exchange for students.

In response to the ongoing pandemic the academic team for the MA Education with TESOL course (MA EdTESOL) are using online learning and digital tools to extend and develop current provision for English language teaching practice for their students, further partnerships with international HE institutions, along with offering an opportunity for language and cultural exchange.

The NRRU students are studying an English language module before being assessed on their use of spoken English for formal and special occasions. Our MA EdTESOL students will be working with the NRRU students to improve their English language presentations for their assessments with ongoing virtual meetings in which they will work on a 2-1 basis (2 NRRU students to 1 BGU student). This language support will be arranged between the students in their free time and take the 7-hour time difference into consideration. BGU students will then be assessed on a lesson they deliver to their Thai students to practice English language teaching methodology.

Dr Kay Johnson, Programme Leader for MA EdTESOL at BGU, discussed the positive impact the partnership could offer:

“The initiative to partner with colleagues in Thailand is indicative of our creative and proactive teaching teams' commitment to making the best of a difficult situation. Using online tools to deliver our MA students opportunities for authentic English language teaching practice is proving to be a successful and popular addition to the programme!”

“This exchange and other intercultural events embedded in the MA aim to support our postgraduate students' growth as global citizens, in addition to developing their awareness of the complex role of English as a global language and the part they play in this as language education professionals. We are a keen to fulfil BGU's commitment to internationalise the curriculum, alongside strengthening our ties with high-calibre institutions at the forefront of education and teacher-training worldwide”

Piyachat Dhephasadin Na Ayudhaya, Director of the Language Institute at NRRU, shared Kay’s excitement at the unique learning opportunities the project could create:

“It’s a great opportunity for all the students to practice their English with native English speakers who are fluent. In their lives they don’t have a lot of chances to engage with foreigners in in-depth conversations, so this is a fantastic way for them to learn despite ongoing travel restrictions. It’s very exciting to be in partnership that is utilising these online resources so effectively to benefit of both sets of students”

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