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Using open and distance learning to support the Sustainable Development Goals

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English In Action


Using low-cost technology to transform language learning 

Project Status: Completed.

Mother and son

In Bangladesh, English skills are in short supply, limiting economic growth and opportunities.

Delivered by a consortium led by Mott McDonald, English in Action (EIA), known by many users as the “silence breaking programme”, enables millions of people across Bangladesh to improve their English as a route out of poverty and into work.  

The Open University is responsible for the Schools programme, which equips teachers with the knowledge and resources to actively engage pupils in practising the language, instead of quietly listening in class. Teachers learn Communicative Language Teaching techniques by watching videos on their mobile phones, try out new activities in their classrooms and receive on-going support through paired teachers in schools and local meetings. 

Active participation by local and national government stakeholders drives sustainability.

A trainer in your pocket 

• Spoken English audio clips to play in class

• Videos of teaching techniques, showing real local classes

• Loaded on a memory card for use on a low-cost, basic phone

Students were actually smiling, having fun – I knew they were learning new things. “I know I am going to make a difference”

Computer chips

Pijush saw EIA at a neighbouring school; “Students were actually smiling, having fun – I knew they were learning new things. “I know I am going to make a difference””

Nominated Best Teacher of his local area, Pijush now plays learning games instead of learning by rote and makes deliberate mistakes to give students the joy of correcting him.

To find out more about the programme, visit the English in Action website.

EIA's Value for Money Report can be viewed here