The British Council

The Support for Polish Reform in Teacher Education (SPRITE) project was set up in September 1998 by the British Council. It is aimed primarily at educating and training English language teachers in view of new requirements in the Polish education system resulting from the coming reform of the sector.

Working with a broad cross-section of the English language teaching community in Poland, the project consists of four components: Young Learners, Information Technology, British Studies, and English for Specific Purposes. SPRITE will organize seminars and conferences and work towards developing closer contacts between teachers of English. To this end the journal Network has been established.

Other achievements of the project so far include plans to develop in-service curricula for teachers of young learners. Centres have been established to train teachers to use information technology and courses are now available for teachers of English for Specific Purposes. In the field of British Studies a website has been set up at http://www.elt.britcoun.org/poland containing themed materials.

Professor Hanna Komorowska giving her lecture

At the launch of SPRITE at Warsaw' s Dom Chłopa Hotel on April 28 Professor Hanna Komorowska gave a lecture entitled " Successful Teaching: how to achieve it, how to assess it." Speaking about the history of definitions of successful teaching, she said:" Teaching is now defined as successful when it triggers learning processes and provides a learning to learn component." However, she added that a teacher' s language ability remains of primary importance:" What is needed to gain learners' respect is the teacher' s operative knowledge of the language, his general knowledge and the fact that the teacher is interested in learners' growth and not only the external standard that should be attained."

Komorowska also spoke about how teachers must adapt to the coming reforms, but added that in our assessment of teachers we cannot afford to be too critical. There remains a shortage of English teachers in Poland and so" Assessment aiming at cutting down numbers of teachers is not the best of strategies in our situation."

The entire text of Komorowska' s speech is available here

The British Council would like to invite readers to an exhibition of" Contemporary British Prose - New Fiction" to be held until September 30 at the following British Council libraries:

Białystok, ul. Liniarskiego 3
Katowice, Pl. Sejmu śląskiego 1
Kraków, ul. Mickiewicza 22
Gdańsk, ul. Ogarna 27
Łódź, Pl. Wolności 2
Lublin, ul. Zuchów 2
Poznań, ul. Ratajczaka 39
Szczecin, ul. Pułaskiego 10
Toruń, ul Moniuszki 16/20
Wrocław, ul. Kużnicza 22
Warszawa, Al. Jerozolimskie 59

Around 250 novels written by British authors in the last few years will be available for borrowing. Entry is free.

Barnaby Harward