CityU and São Tomé and Príncipe sign cooperation agreement to launch a series of training programs aimed at assisting English teachers in enhancing their pedagogical skills

To promote educational development and international exchange in São Tomé and Príncipe, as well as to assist local English teachers in enhancing their professional competence and teaching abilities while fostering more English professionals, Professor Jun Liu, Rector of City University of Macau (CityU), visited a local high school at late June this year. The purpose was to engage in exchanges with representatives of secondary school English teachers. Subsequently, Chair Professor Jin Lixian, the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Professor Cortazzi Martin, Distinguished Professor at the Faculty of Education, recently bounded to São Tomé and Príncipe to conduct a five-day training program for English teachers. During their visit, CityU and the Minister of Education, Culture, and Science of São Tomé and Príncipe signed a memorandum of cooperation, establishing a collaborative project for English teacher training to promote the development of local English education.

The training courses were conducted at the Brazilian Training Institute in São Tomé and Príncipe. The courses followed an intensive training format with five hours of classes per day, focusing on imparting advanced teaching methods to local English teachers. By sharing a variety of instructional approaches and cases, the courses taught participants how to organize multimodal interactions between teachers and students in the classroom, helping them improve their instructional skills and ways to enhance students' listening, speaking, reading, and writing abilities.

Additionally, the courses also emphasized on English language proficiency. Through group assignments, conversations, and discussions, the listening and speaking skills of the participants were enhanced. Vocabulary, grammar, and reading exercises were incorporated, and writing skills were improved through activities such as story writing and picture descriptions. This series of training programs aimed to enhance the teaching quality and professional competence of local teachers, enabling them to better meet students' learning needs and achieve better teaching outcomes.

São Tomé and Príncipe is a country where diverse cultures met. Therefore, English teachers need to possess cross-cultural teaching abilities. In addition to teaching and language proficiency training, the courses also organized group presentations for participants, encouraging them to engage in deeper reflections on language, global English, exemplary educators and learners, intercultural communication, and other related topics. The training program helped local teachers understand the latest teaching methods and strategies, and learn how to effectively teach English skills and knowledge. The program also cultivated their abilities in cross-cultural teaching, which enabled them to better understand and respond to students from different cultural backgrounds.

During the program, Dean Jin and Prof. Cortazzi Martin from CityU visited the Minister of Education, Culture, and Science of São Tomé and Príncipe, Isabel Maria Correia Viegas de Abreu. On behalf of CityU, they signed a memorandum of cooperation to strengthen the partnership between the University and the country. The five-day training program served as the inaugural project under this collaboration.

In addition, Dean Jin and Professor Cortazzi Martin also visited Xu Yingzhen, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People's Republic of China to the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe. Chinese Ambassador Xu highly praised CityU's organizational and execution capabilities and expressed appreciation for the University’s deployment of international English education experts to provide intensive training for English teachers in secondary schools nationwide in the country. Ambassador Xu also highly evaluated the training program and its outcomes, expressing hope that CityU could offer more similar training programs for local teachers in the future.


Selected reflection from a participating English teacher in São Tomé and Príncipe:

I would like to say that every day that I am in this class, you are showing me different strategies to use and share in my classes and my school. We shared the different ways to write stories and many examples of activities to use in the classroom. I think that everything we’ve done here is very important in our life and in our ways with our students.


Selected reflection from another participating English teacher in São Tomé and Príncipe:

I loved the class; the teachers are motivated. They are working hard to help the students to receive the message and to put it into practice. I am very happy with class, we are learning so much.

Source: Office of Global Affairs, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences