The English for the Community project is a partnership between British Council Romania and the Romanian-American Foundation (RAF). 

English is a key skill for ecotourism: it helps communities reach international audiences and share ideas with other agencies abroad. Effective skills in English are a gateway for young people to employment in the ecotourism sector and reduce the need to migrate to find work elsewhere.

The best people to help young students develop their language skills are their English teachers.

Therefore, a key strand of the project aimed to provide professional development opportunities for up to 150 teachers over a three-year period, between 2017-2020, contributing to the creation of a new generation of professionals in rural areas through quality education. A new stage of the project will take place between 2021-2023. 

Discover the professional development model of 'English for the Community' and its impact over the first stage of the project in the 'What is the project impact?' section below.

Project locations

We work with teachers from small towns and villages in nine counties of Romania (Suceava, Neamt, Harghita, Hunedoara, Maramures, Bihor, Mures, Sibiu and Brasov).

Activities including Teacher Activity Groups take place in Vatra Dornei, Targu Neamt, Miercurea Ciuc, Hateg, Sighetu Marmatiei, Remeti, Sibiu, Sighisoara and Fagaras, and all teachers from the surrounding countryside are welcome to join.

Each location has been selected because it has substantial potential for the development of ecotourism - areas that are some of the most beautiful in Romania, but where young people encounter significant problems in finding work, thus being forced to migrate to large cities in Romania or even abroad.

What does the project do?

The project draws on the British Council Teaching for Success approach while keeping in mind classroom realities in the context of rural Romania. 

Baseline study

To make sure project design meets the real needs of teachers in each location, British Council carried out a baseline study, in which we talked to students, teachers, head teachers and County inspectors about learning and teaching English. 

Teacher support through Teacher Activity Groups

Traditionally, the main way to support teachers in their continuing professional development has been to ask them to attend training talks, workshops or courses, events which are often useful and enjoyable and the project includes face-to-face training for teachers. This type of training is not the only way to support the continuing professional development of teachers, however, and it does have limitations. The project therefore provides support for teachers in a range of other ways.

A key aspect of the project is the development of what are known as Teacher Activity Groups. Teachers in each location meet in these monthly groups to share ideas and opinions, make use of online resources including online sites and MOOCs, make plans to use new activities and techniques in their own classrooms and support each other’s development. 

Who delivers the project?

English for the Community is managed by British Council Romania, working in cooperation with RAF.

In each of the project's nine counties, there is a Teacher Activity Group led voluntarily by two trained Local Facilitators - English teachers who live and teach in those locations themselves. For each of the project counties there is also a County Trainer, an experienced teacher trainer who provides the initial training for Local Facilitators, as well as continued support in their management of TAGs. 

Meet the County Trainers. 

How does the project help the community?

The effective teaching and learning of English in schools enable young people to develop their English language skills, find employment locally, in the ecotourism sector for example, and thereby benefit the whole community. Through its 'My English Library' stand, 'English for the Community' also supported local libraries in selected project communities, encouraging community engagement, increased use of digital resources and the development of civic attitudes.

What is the project impact?

The project aimed to provide an effective model of how, through their own peer-led professional development, teachers can support their learners to address their potential employability, achieving positive, sustainable and long-term impact. The project model can be replicated to support the in-service development of other teachers and communities, in other locations and/or on a larger scale.

In 2020, international education consultant Simon Borg carried out an independent impact evaluation of the 'English for the Community' project. Simon Borg’s findings, which draw on his extensive contacts with project participants but also on his other international work with Teacher Activity Groups, show this model has proven transformative in its impact on teacher understandings, dispositions, and classroom practices – both for the 150 teachers in the Romanian programme and for the over 20,000 students they work with in their communities. 

Find out more:

Contact us

For more information about the project or details on how you can get involved as an English teacher, contact Alina Constantinescu, our project manager, at

External links