Monday, May 20, 2024

On course at NILE

Mike Riley, Deputy Director of NILE, the language-teacher training institution, talks to Melanie Butler about what sets it apart

NILE is management consultant on the PRELIM project, because of your long experience. When did you start working in the developing world?
We are very excited about PRELIM, especially as it comes in our 25th year. And yes, we’ve been working with countries in the developing world from day one. Brazil is a great example. Currently we’re working on a project with one of the largest teaching organisations in Rio, looking at the development of a new online assessment platform and local delivery of NILE master’s modules, but that’s just the latest chapter in a long history.

You’ve been running projects throughout the pandemic?
Thanks to the internet. We’ve trained over 1,800 Tunisian primary teachers as part of the British Council’s Teaching for Success project. Working with local teaching advisors, we’ve been able to support teachers in every part of the country. We’ve also continued our work in Uzbekistan, where we are working on the EMI in Higher Education project.

Long a leader in online training, you have also done research on it. What is your most important finding?
There are lots to choose from. In 2019 we evaluatedfiveyearsofNILEonlineprogrammes and discovered that online teacher education can have just as positive an impact on beliefs and practises as face-to-face training.

We have just published research carried out alongside Chris Farrell from CES, John Glew-O’Leary, IH Manchester and Sophia Mavridi, looking at hybrid learning. One key finding is that understanding of best practice in this area, which is suddenly centre stage, is only just emerging.

Working with others is part of the NILE ethos, PRELIM is an example, as is your partnership with Macmillan Education. Can you explain why?
Our founder, Dave Allan, led the way and our director, Thom Kiddle, continues that tradition. It’s great to work with colleagues who share our values and approach. As well as the Macmillan partnership, we have a global network of NILE Language Teacher Education partners, which help us offer something different. Working with Bridge Mills in Galway and ESE in St Julian’s, Malta, for example, allows us to offer programmes in alternative English-speaking contexts within the EU.

Library

Mike Riley joined NILE Norwich as Deputy Director in 2020 following four years as teacher training manager at Macmillan Education. He has also taught in his home city of Manchester, UK, and in Milan, Italy.

Images courtesy of Andrew Kahumbu and Library
Mike Riley
Mike Riley
Mike Riley joined NILE Norwich as deputy director in 2020 following four years as teacher training manager at Macmillan Education. He has also taught in his home city of Manchester, UK, and in Milan, Italy.
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