The British Council and Ministry of Education (MoE) set up the first online Teaching Knowledge Test (TKT) course in Oman in 2012. A total of 200 teachers from the MoE undertook six months of online teacher training overseen by 10 globally based 'e-moderators'. The 'e-moderators' were based in Romania, Egypt, Italy, Spain, Russia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and the UAE, making it a truly internationally delivered course. 

Teachers across all of the 11 governorates in Oman took the TKT Essentials programme and the TKT exam from Cambridge ESOL online, the first time that professional development opportunities have been delivered in this way at a national level in the Gulf region. Teachers worked in online groups of 20 and were regionally mixed so that experiences and knowledge in teaching could be shared across the country.

Each group also had what was termed an ‘e-observer’, a nominated MoE teacher trainer who was there to provide additional support outside of the course to teachers in their regions. At the same time, he or she was in place to observe the delivery of the course, to get a better understanding of moderating and overall, a greater picture of online learning. Following the completion of the course, the 'e-observers' enrolled onto a moderator course as part of their own continuous professional development. 

Paul Doubleday, British Council Director Oman and Yemen, said, 'This is a wonderful achievement on the part of the participating teachers and an innovative approach to and investment in training from the Ministry of Education. We have been thrilled to have worked with the teachers, Dr Sarah Rich and her team in the Training Centre of the MoE, and it has been a valuable insight into meeting teacher training needs.'

Why should teachers in Oman study for the TKT?

The TKT project provides Omani English teachers with a valuable professional development opportunity as well as providing a useful indicator of their current level of teaching knowledge. The TKT online course and test provides an important opportunity for Omani teachers of English to:

  • explore and review key areas of knowledge required by a competent teacher of English
  • gain an internationally recognised teaching certificate from the University of Cambridge
  • develop confidence and self-efficacy.

Mr Suliman Al Jamoodi, Deputy General Director of the Directorate of Human Resources Development commented, 'An online training programme has enabled us to reach more teachers across the width and breadth of Oman. The British Council online TKT course has been able to supplement or support our existing training programmes, which are delivered face to face. This is another example of how the Ministry of Education is implementing and investigating ways of delivering training to its English teachers.'

Research and evaluation

The project included an extensive research and evaluation component in the form of online surveys, focus group meetings, phone interviews with participants and a group of observers, who had access to the course throughout its entirety.

Dr Sarah Rich, from the MoE Training Centre, said, ‘The data and feedback gained from this research phase was valuable on a number of levels; it helped support or identify areas of teaching development for teachers in Oman and adjust administration of the programme for the next programme.’

A second year: the 2013-14 cohort

Following on from the success of the project's first year, a further 250 English teachers have been given the opportunity to take the British Council TKT Essentials programme and examination during 2013-14.

For further information, please email Stephen Monteith, English Projects Manager, Oman.