BritLit was originally established in Portugal to help teachers in secondary schools to work effectively with the extended reading texts (short stories) in the national curriculum. Since then it has become a global resource and offers access to texts and supporting material for the whole school range of English language teaching.
The stories and poems featured are mostly chosen because of their relevance to the teaching programmes in many countries as well as the interest likely to be stimulated in young people. The majority of the stories and poems are from contemporary writers. This allows a parallel programme of author visits to schools across the world to take place. All the writers featured have a strong connection with the UK.
Some of the materials are written by professional materials writers and some are written by teams of teachers of English who have attended NILE training courses in Norwich, UK, with this purpose in mind. All the ‘kits' are edited by Fitch O'Connell, Claudia Ferradas and/or Alan Pulverness.
The resources are called ‘kits' because they are designed to be chosen from rather than used in their entirety - teachers build their own lessons from the activities on offer. The wide range of materials on offer allows mixed ability teaching to become a reality, as is the preference for including materials where the task can be easily graded.
Teachers interested in considering some of the further pedagogical implications of using short stories in the BritLit way can downlaod and read Literary Farmers (pdf).
BritLit was started in 2003 as a joint adventure between the British Council in Portugal and APPI, the Portuguese association for teachers of English.