Pearson and BBC Live Classes began in 2018. The project encourages different nationalities, races and religions to come together and communicate in English. What’s more, it is free and open to students aged between 9 and 19 years old. Our goal was to create a multicultural experience that would connect people from all over the world who have a passion for learning.
When we began the third annual program of Pearson and BBC Live Classes 2020/2021 on 15th October 2020, British Council ELTons named us as the winner of the Innovation in Learner Resources award. I was so proud of the team and it was an incredible boost to everyone involved.
So far, 2,500 schools from 81 countries have participated in a Live Class and the project has grown beyond my wildest expectations. In 2020/2021 alone we ran 250 global lessons to 35,000 students.
Ever since the first Live Class, I’ve seen that there is a great passion for learning across the globe. I’ve been watching motivated students speaking English outside the classroom and teachers showing their students the real value of their school education.
Our unique community has grown, supporting and motivating each other every step of the way. This has been clearer during the pandemic. Standing hand in hand with thousands of learners, educators and our trainers, has been the best reward I could imagine. Thank you for being a part of this project!
Our trainers would like to share their most memorable moments from their classes.
Michael explains he loves seeing students from different countries interacting in breakout rooms, “they’re negotiating meaning, sharing something of themselves and their cultures and making new friends: this is the essence of the project.”
He also explains how he loves watching the students’ follow-up tasks after the lessons.
“To give one example, Natalia and Karolina from Poland attended the Young Entrepreneurs lesson,” he says. “They then made a video about the dance school they were going to open ‘Dance Land: Live Together. Dance Together.’ – it was great to see them use what they’d learned and add their own ideas, creativity and passion.”
“Every month, Live Classes enabled me and my students to escape our confined spaces for an hour,” she says. “We can virtually travel all over the world to learn about, laugh and connect with each other.”
A highlight for Liz has been “seeing how proud the students are when they realise that they can use their English to communicate with others, and be understood in return.”
She adds, “I’ve also been really impressed by how committed students have been to learning, by seeing that they are connecting wherever they can on any device they can. The video posted by Tina Malinda S. and her students from RBKB summed this up perfectly and absolutely melted my heart.”
Harry says that Live Classes are always the highlight of his month. “Having the chance to connect with so many people across the globe was the obvious highlight for me as a Live Classes trainer,” he says.
“Seeing the passion for learning and desire to get involved from both students and teachers really made everything worthwhile,” he continues. “It’s been an amazing year and I can’t wait to get back into the Live Classroom.”
Chloe enjoys every lesson, because the students make them unique. “Someone once asked me if it was boring teaching the same lesson again and again. My reply was a definitive “NO!” Every lesson brought new laughs and smiles and I have learnt so much from the Live Classes Community,” she says.
“Of course, I learnt about festivals all over the world which I had never even heard of (a Firework festival, an Artichoke festival, End-of-Winter festivals, Colour festivals, you name it and I’m sure someone somewhere is celebrating it!),” she says.
For Chloe, highlights include a group bringing home-made traditional food to the class to share. “If only it was really possible to taste it!” she says. She also remembers “students teaching Samba and Sevillanas to each other and a group coming dressed in their traditional costumes.”
Chloe concludes, “but more than anything else the best thing about this project is the enthusiasm and positivity everyone brings. It was completely contagious and I was always so happy and energised on Live Classes day. I can’t wait to get started again next year. Happy summer holidays everyone!”
Vanessa Hartson Walker
The first time Vanessa began a virtual class she felt apprehensive. “I was curious and nervous at the same time,” she says. “Then classes and students started coming in and seeing different names and countries created a unique classroom experience but also one which I know and love.
For Vanessa, connecting with so many great students and teachers every month has been exhilarating.
“Every lesson had a positive vibe and as the students participated in the activities, I really noticed how much fun they were having,” she says. “The students had the opportunity to demonstrate their language skills and receiving so much positive feedback really put me on cloud nine. I am so grateful to be part of this fantastic project.”
Dan has loved every minute of his Live Classes 2020/2021 experience. “Wow, what an incredible year! I’ve been blown away by the positivity and hard work of all the students and teachers I’ve had the pleasure to meet.”
Dan notes that transition to teaching online couldn’t have been easy but the resilience teachers and students have shown is outstanding.
One of his most memorable moments came when two groups of students from different countries and very different cultures were interacting. “They were having a discussion in a breakout room and realized that it doesn’t matter where you live – teens everywhere have very similar interests and aspirations,” he says.
“Another key moment, for me, was in Lesson G, which is all about higher education and university,” Dan says. “I found out how ambitious students are – wanting to be doctors, lawyers, programmers, artists and engineers, among other things.”
He continues, in Lesson K (engaging with nature) it was also great to learn about all the amazing places in their countries where you can go to experience the outdoors. I’ve definitely made notes and can’t wait to visit the Tatra mountains on the border of Poland and Slovakia.”
You can see for yourself in his class Padlet board!
Learn more about Pearson and BBC Live Classes 2020/2021
Pearson and BBC Live Classes 2020/2021 have finished for now. However, we do have some special sustainability related classes throughout the summer with Harry.
Find out more about the classes and register now!
You can also learn more about Pearson and BBC Live Classes and keep up to date with all the new classes coming in 2021/2022.