BritLit was started in 2002 by APPI and the British Council in Portugal. It was their first joint project. The original idea was simple enough: to produce teaching resources (called ‘kits’: for example, ‘Quick kits’ and ‘Meet the Author kits’)
for teachers in years 10 and 11 to help them use the extensive reading options more effectively. The result has been a much bigger project than was originally envisaged: for example, the concentration on using contemporary British authors has led to some of those authors visiting the country and working with teachers and students – Benjamin Zephaniah, Levi Tafari, Melvin Burgess, Menna Elfyn, to name but a few; teachers themselves have become the main creators of the resource materials through a training programme in the UK; the demand for using ‘literature’ has extended beyond just years 10 and 11 and, by 2005, included materials for years 8 and 9 and the development of a new kind of approach by creating classroom activities for primary through story telling.
BritLit has become one of the most exciting English language teaching projects in the world, and its on-line materials have been used by hundreds of thousands of teachers across the planet. Later BritLit has expanded to work actively with teachers in Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic. BritLit Spain and BritLit Italy joined the project in 2006.
And it all began with APPI and the British Council in Portugal.