Demonstrating the Quality of Learner’s Experience and Engagement: Issues in Constructing Effective Evaluation Approaches on the English in Action Project, Bangladesh
The purpose of the DfID English in Action Project (EIA) currently running in Bangladesh is to ‘increase significantly the number of people able to communicate in English, to levels that enable them to participate fully in economic and social activities and opportunities’ (EIA, 2008). Supported open learning initiatives will employ media and technologies to supplement and enhance the learning and teaching of communicative English among school students, teachers and adults throughout Bangladesh. The comprehensive programme of research, monitoring and evaluation activities that accompany the project will demonstrate evidence of success and lessons learned from initiatives over the lifetime of the project, scheduled to complete in 2017. // This paper focuses on detailing distinctive ways in which ‘success’ should be articulated, arguing that both qualitative and quantitative approaches are required in order to fully understand the outcomes of the Project. It highlights the need for a wide range of stakeholders to engage with, examine and fully comprehend the extent to which quality outcomes from the project initiatives have potentially touched and impacted upon individual lives. // Discussion of evidence of ‘success’ will also reveal how the appropriate requirements for a set of purposive project-wide Baseline Studies were completed before any major project initiatives were launched. They demonstrate the pre-project situation relating to (a) the teaching and learning of communicative English ‘on the ground’ and (b) the contexts for communicative use of English within Bangladesh at that time. As a crucial element of the EIA research agenda, these studies will be repeated and extended on a three yearly cycle. Over time they will enable post-initiative comparisons to be made to determine what improvements have occurred and how, if at all, EIA has contributed to enhanced use of spoken English and in which particular contexts.
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