Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China
100 Primary and Secondary school teachers used to teaching classes of 50-80 students. 10 schools were selected by the Chinese government from all over China to take part in the training course. Teachers won scholarships to attend the course.
The teachers were used to working straight from a very dry coursebook. The students worked individually on tasks and hardly ever work on pairs or groups, due to teachers concerns for logistics and discipline problems with very large groups of 40-60 students. Drilling and memorization of texts was the norm.
The timetable consisted of lesson planning, learning styles, motivation, ELT methodology, using role-play, creating speaking activities, project work, content based learning, using the Internet in the classroom, testing and assessing, presenting new language through listening skills, large classes, classroom management and peer teaching.
In the course teachers developed their ability to to adapt and supplement coursebooks so their students could identify with the subject matter more easily. We introduced motivating speaking activities to encourage the students to communicate with each other in a meaningful way and activities and games to practice vocabulary. We also addressed the pressing issues of classroom management and how to make a communicative approach work with large classes.