Britannica International, a COBIS school in Shanghai, have been swift in adapting to a remote E-Learning model as the school remains closed due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
In response to the challenge of not being able to physically teach their children, China is turning to virtual education as a solution. For Britannica, their 450 students are currently stuck at home and teachers from across the globe – including USA, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam – haven’t been able to return since the Chinese New Year holiday.
Amanda Lint, Britannica’s Head of EAL, is in a similar position to thousands of teachers working in international institutions, having been stuck in Boston USA since 24th January. Unfortunately, latest indications from government regulations mean the school cannot determine when their gates will re-open for staff and students.
However, what Britannica can determine is that their students’ education will not be halted. Despite the circumstances, the school’s initiative is helping students to become more competent E-Learners and shines a spotlight on the opportunities that can accompany life’s challenges.
Technology has since been a driving force for supporting learning at Britannica, with numerous measures applied across Early Years, Primary and Secondary to cater their students’ needs. For students needing English as an Additional Language (EAL) support, the school have introduced the market-leading platform across UK schools.
An award-winning Birmingham-based EdTech platform, FlashAcademy® has been implemented into the school’s E-Learning model to help with the language challenges for some of the students and their parents during this period of remote online learning.
The app teaches British curriculum English from 39 home languages, including Chinese Mandarin, Korean and Brazilian Portuguese, spoken by a high proportion of Britannica students. Amanda discovered the platform after searching online for activities and resources that would support her EAL students during the e-learning period.
The app’s independent and engaging style of learning has helped Britannica’s EAL department’s students in keeping up with general vocabulary, grammar and literacy skills, as well as setting assignments and the students’ motivation to learn, where they can compete with friends through games and challenges.
Undoubtedly, teachers and students alike are missing the human interactions of school life but of course, their health and safety must come first. Adjusting to this new style of learning, Principal David Goodwin commented:
“While we would never argue that E-learning replaces face to face teaching, it is a skill that all our students have to learn in the 21st Century. This is an opportunity that none of us should miss.”
Veejay Lingiah, CEO of FlashAcademy®, commented
“We’re delighted to be helping students in China with their English skills, especially at such a challenging time. Whilst most of our work to date has been helping students and schools across the UK, we are now increasingly working with international schools and one of the great aspects of technology like FlashAcademy® is that it’s very simple and straightforward. It’s accessible to new schools and students, no matter where they are based.”
FlashAcademy® EAL is a digital platform for schools, supporting teachers to deliver learning for pupils who don’t have English as their first language. It is the result of thousands of hours of development, the latest learning technology and important input from EAL practitioners. It’s the first curriculum-mapped resource that teaches English from over 35 home languages in a fun and engaging way for pupils, whilst delivering real-time data insights to teaching teams. Nearly 270 schools in the UK have implemented the digital platform into their curriculum.