Press Release: September 23, 2020
The British Council has resumed face-to-face English courses in UAE for the start of the new school term.
Classes for secondary students, primary students and adults are now available across Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah and they will be combined with online guided learning that students can do independently at home.
This news comes on the back of local health authority and government guidance and sees the teaching centres adhere to a number of health and safety precautions to protect staff, teachers and students.
Speaking about the resumption, Gareth Newman, Director English at the British Council said: “We started IELTS, the English language test, in June and that’s gone really well. Since then, we have been working hard over the last few months to ensure that our face-to-face classes can be delivered in a secure and enjoyable environment using similar health and safety measures in line with government guidance. We started courses for adults in August and young learners in September. We are giving as much choice as possible, so if a parent wants their child to study online, they can. And those that do return to class also know that classes can be moved online if necessary.”
Newman acknowledged that the choice between learning online and in the classroom has faced many parents in recent weeks. He said: “Schools across the country have been struggling to deal with the reduced capacity in their classrooms due to physical distancing. British Council has decided the right thing to do is reduce the class size, so whereas we used to have 12 or 14 students in a class, we now have only six or seven. Not only does it help reduce the risk of the virus spreading, but it creates the best possible learning environment and each student gets more individual attention.”
In addition to physical distancing, other precautionary measures in place include temperature screening at the entrance, the use of face masks and hygiene stations. “Feedback from our initial groups of IELTS Preparation students has been overwhelmingly positive about the safety and hygiene measures in place. That’s given us confidence to open our classroom to all ages now,” Newman added.
All British Council courses are supported by new digital content that gives students more personalised and flexible ways to develop their communication skills.
He said: “Over the last few months, we have successfully brought our classes online through a new learning platform and this has made it possible for students to continue to learn with us. It has also given us the opportunity to gather feedback and shape and develop our offer to deliver the best possible learning experience. By combining face-to-face classes with online learning, we are confident that we can prepare our students for global challenges with 21st century skills.”
For adults, there is a new product: English Plus. This course has been designed to deliver an engaging, flexible, high quality learning experience which builds learners’ confidence no matter their skill levels. English Plus is a more customisable offer that can be personalised to suit any ambition and budget.
For those thinking about a journey into university at home or abroad, the IELTS test can be a major hurdle. IELTS Coach is the British Council’s tried and trusted preparation course, which aims to make sure you have the best possible score.
For younger learners, Secondary Plus is designed for those aged 12 to 17 and will help develop students into assertive, independent global citizens. It features an exciting range of practical and challenging tasks to encourage self-expression and creative thinking in a digital world. There is also a dedicated IELTS Preparation programme for this age group.
Primary Plus is suitable for children aged six to 11. It is designed to be as child-friendly and intuitive as possible with high quality, engaging materials - including lots of varied activities, with songs, videos and quizzes. It will focus on critical and creative thinking, problem solving and citizenship alongside English learning.
To find out more about British Council’s English language courses and book your child’s place, visit https://www.britishcouncil.ae/en.