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Taking The Next Step

Melanie Butler talks to Nile’s Dave Allan about its new partnership with Macmillan training teachers overseas

The news that Nile and Macmillan Education have formed a partnership is something of a first in British EFL – a materials publisher and a teacher-training specialist. I understand the main aim is to work together on government contracts overseas...

 -What kind of projects are you expecting to collaborate on and how will the different skills profiles of the organisations help that?

Yes, it is something of a first and I don’t know why we didn’t think of it earlier! It’s a very natural step given that institutions are more and more interested in discussing the complete package of materials, product training and teacher professional development from a validated provider, particularly with the advent of changing teaching methodologies and an increasing demand from governments for teachers to have higher levels of English.

Macmillan Education is a world-renowned quality producer of learning materials and has a reputation for supporting teachers, while Nile can offer the whole range of learning opportunities for teachers to progress with their professional development and guide others in their institution. Together we can help ministries, institutions and individuals to meet their training and professional development needs at the highest levels of quality.

- I know you have already collaborated on the Macmillan Education teacher scholarship competition. How did the idea of extending the partnership come about?

The overwhelming response to win a scholarship place at Nile this summer as part of the Macmillan Education Teachers at the Heart competition was a clear sign that this partnership has potential, and the approach from both parties definitely helped us to cement what we’d probably known for many years – that we share the same ethos, goals and passion for teacher development.

- Both Nile and Macmillan Education are renowned for blended learning and online courses. How do you see the role of technology in thispartnership?

Macmillan Education and Nile have always sought to use what technology offers to support the teacher. You will see that continue to run through the partnership. Technology, of course, helps us reach out to teachers far from our home bases here in Britain, allowing us to create a global community of teachers – fully engaged in the development offered by our team of trainers but learning from each other as well. Our focus is very much on helping teachers develop the pedagogies that allow them to take advantage of the benefits of technology to help their learners. We will continue to embrace innovation, but we will always keep teachers at the heart of what we do.

- Are there any projects already in the pipeline?

From the day we signed the agreement there has been a huge amount of interest in our partnership. Almost immediately we started working together on offering teacher development solutions to ministries and institutions across the globe. It’s been clear that working together we are able to offer a more complete package that schools and institutions are finding really suits their needs. We’re already working on the second phase of our partnership, which is very exciting – but of course I can’t reveal all our secrets now.

- What do you feel are the shared values that will take the partnership forward?

Aside from the fact that we like each other and working together has been a great pleasure so far, we really do share common values in our work ethic and our vision and views for teachers’ professional development. We want to help the teacher of today and prepare the teacher of tomorrow – we think that together we can make a great impact and reach more teachers than before to help them and their learners develop to the benefit of their nations.