Whether it’s teaching tens of thousands of Uruguayan primary school children via videoconferencing in association with Plan Ceibal, delivering teacher training into Iraq from Argentina via Skype, supplementing online self-access courses for primary and secondary school teachers in Chile via Zoom, or working with companies to provide business English classes for groups of managers dispersed across different countries, remote teaching offers an ideal solution in situations where providing a face-to-face teacher or trainer is impossible, difficult, costly or dangerous - or simply when joining a lesson remotely offers a more convenient alternative for busy people.

Remote teaching is essentially ‘virtual face-to-face teaching’, whereby lessons are delivered via videoconferencing, whether this be through high-end videoconferencing equipment and optical fiber lines or platforms such as Skype, Adobe Connect or Zoom. Skilful use of the technology gives the remote teacher real presence in the classroom, with both remote teachers and students reporting effective interaction. Many students find the flexible and innovative new technologies highly motivating.

 In this session, we will share with you how the British Council has been working with this new blended learning model, which offers the potential to transform ELT in many parts of the world.

About the lecturer:

Alison is Director Remote Teaching and Regional English for Education Systems Lead, Americas, currently based in the Buenos Aires Remote Teaching Centre, the British Council’s global flagship hub for ‘virtual face to face’ teaching. Her 24 year career with the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, has included postings in Japan, Malaysia, Greece, the United Arab Emirates, Taiwan and Brazil. Alison has a particular interest in education, having been awarded an MBE for her work in international education, and is currently focusing on increasing friendly knowledge and understanding between the UK and other countries through remote teaching. Alison is involved in several ‘virtual face to face’ teaching projects, including the teaching of English via videoconferencing into Uruguayan primary schools in partnership with Plan Ceibal, and remotely delivered ELT projects in Mexico and Chile.

She holds academic and professional qualifications in ELT, marketing and business, including PGCE Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, MA English as a Second/Foreign Language, the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Professional Diploma in Marketing and an MBA. 

Outside of work, Alison enjoys learning new musical instruments, swimming, travelling, good views (particularly mountains and lakes), and learning about new cultures and different ways of thinking.