This very successful project came into being when the Mexican Ministry of Education asked the British Council for help in developing the self-access centres (SACs) which existed in each of Mexico's 34 state universities. Some 500,000 students were using the centres.

Client, stakeholders, partners

  • Mexican Ministry of Education
  • 34 Mexican public state universities
  • Students and teachers in the universities

Focus

The development of Self-Access Centres in Mexico's 34 public state universities, to support English language learning

The project

This very successful project came into being when the Mexican Ministry of Education asked the British Council for help in developing the self-access centres (SACs) which existed in each of Mexico's 34 state universities. Some 500,000 students were using the centres.

The project formed part of the Mexican government's long-term strategy to support learners of English from all faculties. The Ministry wanted to make the SACs more effective, especially through improved use of new technologies. Funds for the project came mainly from the Ministry, which also guaranteed adequate technology so that the multimedia interactive web products could run smoothly.

A survey of students' needs was conducted, which meant that the content was very sensitive not only to students' learning needs but also to their learning styles and content preferences. Different types of training workshops were provided for all of the SAC coordinators, for other English Language Teaching professional staff at the Ministry, and for web content managers.

The project succeeded in transforming the nature and the effectiveness of the Centres, by creating, and providing ready access to through a new platform, a wide range of innovative web-based products, to meet the needs of the various user groups.

Additionally, the project supported the British Council's Language Assistants Programme, since the Mexican Ministry of Education and the state universities agreed to receive participants from this programme, who were British university students.

A major impact evaluation of the project was conducted through a variety of different methods, both qualitative and quantitative, mainly through a series of peer evaluation conferences.

From January to September 2008 the website attracted 14,044 visits, a visit being at least ten minutes on the site, and at least one exercise completed.

What the stakeholders say

Thank you so much for contributing once again to the Self Access Centres project, and in your usual committed, flexible, hard-working, and highly professional manner.... I imagine that this workshop will be seen in the future as a real milestone, as the teachers enter the world of online teaching and learning and press their institutions for support in this field.
SAC Coordinator

I think E4U is very good and innovative. All activities led me to learn more vocabulary, which is what I need. I can say that it is because of E4U that I have a wider glossary and know more structures.
Juan García Norma Graciela, student

The material is great for my area, business. It was interesting to see how I can handle business conversations in English.
Gladis Marín Moctezuma, student

E4U allows us to develop all language skills in a very motivating manner, I never thought that could be possible.
Millan Cabañas Luis Miguel, student

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