English teaching materials collection from the UK-Brazil Skills for Prosperity programme brings proposals aligned to BNCC

The Xperience Nova Escola collection, which has just been launched, is made up of English teaching materials for the final years of secondary school (6th to 9th grades) developed by dozens of teachers and specialists from all over Brazil. Each book contains units to work on the comprehension of oral and written texts, written production, oral production, grammar and vocabulary, in proposals aligned with the National Common Curricular Base (BNCC).

The materials, which include books for students and teachers, were developed by Nova Escola as part of the UK government’s UK-Brazil Skills for Prosperity Programme, which supports the improvement of English language teaching in basic education, promoting equity, employability and socioeconomic development in Brazil, through language learning.

The involvement of the education networks of the pilot partner states of the program (Amapá, Pernambuco, Mato Grosso do Sul, São Paulo and Paraná) was essential for the development of the materials. ‘The technical teams contributed from the beginning, bringing clarifications about the curriculum, the profile of teachers and the reality of the classrooms’, says Luciana Campos, relationship coordinator at Nova Escola. ‘These valuable contributions directed all actions related to the material, which were always returned to the networks and validated by a responsible team.’

From teachers to teachers

The authors’ team and the editorial team responsible for the collection were composed of English teachers who know the reality of the Brazilian public school. ‘The new school has led a process of selecting teachers from each network, to then be formed as authors (also on gender and social inclusion issues and socio-based skills), so part of teachers-authors’ Dream Team’, Account Luciana Campos.

According to Tatiana Martin, a pedagogical coordinator of the production of the collection, the training of teachers-authors, who until then were only consumers of pedagogical materials, underwent conceptions of teaching-learning of the program so that they could also understand the editorial universe, new for they. Throughout the process of production of the material, the work of the teachers-authors was accompanied, in a virtual environment, by an engagement, responsible for developing strategies for integration and consistency for work; and by a mentor, which provided guidance on editorial processes and proposals for didactic activities.

In line with the three axes proposed by the BNCC to be worked in English – multiliteracies, interdisciplinarity and English as lingua franca – the material brings examples and reflections on the use of the language from the reality of different peoples and nations, including the Brazil. ‘Not only the teachers-authors, but reviewers and editors asked the materials to be guided by the classroom experience and the reality of the Brazilian Public School’, Tatiana Martin says.

The partner pilot states also participated in times of validation of various materials and decision-making at different stages of the production process. ‘Networks still indicated local critical readers who brought very rich considerations and opportunized the tests made with the materials and listening to students and teachers’, reports Luciana Campos. ‘They were true partners in all material development processes,’ he emphasizes it.

Design of impact

The design of the teaching material started from insights obtained in studies carried out with teachers and students, to the production of a practical, easy to use, playful and visually impactful material.

‘The main beneficiary of this material is the student’, says Leandro Faustino, design coordinator at Nova Escola. ‘We made a very big effort to understand what visually impacts young people in this age group and what surrounds their universe, respecting all the realities of public schools,’ he says.

The teacher’s book, in turn, brings the student’s content in the central part and, around it, the one aimed at teachers. ‘The ideation happened in a lot of conversation with the teachers. We tried to understand the format that would help them the most, and the “U” format was chosen’, explains Tatiana Martin.

Considering the current context of the pandemic, the materials are available in digital and printed formats, so that they can be used in both classroom and hybrid education the digital material can be accessed in the links at the end of this text). The printed books will be distributed by the partner state education networks and, thus, will arrive in the hands of the student and the teacher.

Diversity and inclusion

Inclusion and diversity are premises that permeate Skills for Prosperity from its conception to the extent of its varied actions. In Brazil, the programme has a strategy focused on gender, race and social inclusion in an active effort to ensure that activities promote equity, are accessible to groups at a greater disadvantage and do not reproduce inequalities and stereotypes.

The English teaching materials produced for Brazilian students and teachers follow this line, with a focus on the public network. In collaboration with Instituto Rodrigo Mendes, Nova Escola produced contents — a guide and a video — that helps the teacher to work from the perspective of inclusive education, providing everyone with a full participation in the process of teaching and learning the English language by using the Xperience Nova Escola collection.

The “Guide for tips and inspirations for inclusive pedagogical planning“, in addition to providing elements of didactic pedagogical planning, presents points that can be used as support for an inclusive practice. It seeks to promote reflections, offer inspirations and assist the teacher’s gaze towards that the planning of activities and proposals can be as appropriate as possible. In this video, in turn, the importance of planning inclusive English classes for the final years of elementary school is addressed.

Access the books that make up the new collection of English teaching materials Xperience Nova Escola in the links below: