Photo © Copyright Mat Wright

Client, stakeholders, partners

  • Government of the State of Paraná, Brazil
  • The World Bank
  • The Federal and State Universities of Paraná
  • The UK’s Open University


Improving the language and methodology skills of all teachers of English in the State.

The project

The project provided a range of opportunities for teachers of English in the public sector to improve their English and their teaching skills:

  • a tailor-made internet-based English course
  • distance learning language proficiency and methodology course based on a British Open University publication and supported by face-to-face training delivered by local universities and private institutions,
  • a BBC World Service-based language course, adapted for use with target group
  • intensive, residential language immersion courses in Brazil
  • methodology courses in the UK.
  • leadership ‘Pathmakers’ training to provide sustainability of programme
  • establishment of local chapters of the teachers’ association (TESOL)

The progress of each teacher was measured by means of tests from the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES) administered before and after participation.

After the formal conclusion of the project, the network of Pathmakers ensured sustainability of the project through the local chapters of the teachers association, and used their new skills and to manage their own learning and professional development.

The client, the State Government of Paraná, expressed great satisfaction with the outcomes of the project, which succeeded in raising the levels of English language and the teaching capacity of some 2875 teachers from throughout the state. The project attracted particular attention for its range of innovations, not least its use of distance learning methodology. Success can be measured in requests from other subject areas for a similar programme, requests for replication from other Brazilian states, and the number of papers the project generated, especially from teachers themselves.

It is widely recognised within Brazil that this was one of the most pioneering and successful initiatives in English language teaching in state education over the last 20 years.

What the stakeholders said

The State Secretary said 'I know how well things are going, I hear it from the teachers every time I speak to them, because they now speak to me in English.'

  • The proficiency course had 95% approval from participants in terms of meeting their expectations.
  • The internet course had 88% approval from participants.
  • The BBC World Service input adapted for local use had 95% approval from participants.
  • In project evaluations the feedback of the teachers was very positive with regard to the benefits that the project had brought.


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