The Iraq English as a Second Language (ESL) Training the Trainers Initiative was designed to strengthen the English-language and pedagogical skills of Iraqi teachers and supervisors. The program also identified master teachers, helped participants create a nationwide ESL training plan, increased educators’ awareness of American culture and promoted language as a vehicle for friendship and understanding. Through an intensive two-week workshop, the program trained more than 126 Iraqi teachers and supervisors in teacher training methods and strategies and encouraged them to adapt the approaches to their specific circumstances. These participants in turn trained nearly 2,800 Iraqi teachers. Staff from both FHI 360 and Arizona State University’s American English and Culture Program mentored the participants throughout the program.
FHI 360 created the Iraq ESL Teachers’ Network to serve as an online hub for teachers and their trainers and to allow teachers to share their training experiences. In addition, in consultation with the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, the program sent some master teachers and supervisors to Arizona State University for a seven-week English-language and training immersion program. These participants co-wrote a nationwide training plan that included suggestions and sample plans for improving English education with the help of the Iraqi central and local governments.