ENGLISH LANGUAGE FELLOWSHIP — BURKINA FASO

TEACHER TRAINING

Manga, January 16; Dedougou, January 18-19, 2012.

Attendees ~70 adults. Focus: TESOL Fundamentals

In Manga and Dedougou, with the ALC, I focused on TESOL fundamentals: lesson planning, activating background knowledge, setting learning objectives (with Bloom’s Taxonomy) and scaffolding.

January 18 – 19, 2012, Dedougou teacher training

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Ouagadougou, March 1, 2012. Attendees ~16 adults

Focus: TESOL Fundamentals/ Train-the-trainer

In Ouagadougou, with the BETA executive staff, I conducted a train-the-trainer workshop on TESOL fundamentals and modeled small-group activities.

March 1, 2012, BETA teacher training

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Bobo-Dioulasso and Banfora, March 12- 16, 2012.

Attendees ~80 adults. Focus: TESOL Fundamentals/Grammar Integration

In Bobo and Banfora, with the ALC, I discussed communicative grammar instruction. For this, I first contextualized two instructional methods by drawing a girl, ‘Deedee,’ for deductive techniques, and a boy,‘Issaka,’ for inductive ones. Then, I elicited the pros and cons of “playing” with Deedee or Issaka. Next, I added three characters with different grammar-practice needs and had the teachers place them with Deedee or Issaka. This contextualization technique seemed to increase the teachers’ understanding of these ordinarily abstract concepts.

March 16, 2012, Banfora teacher training

March 16, 2012, Banfora teacher training

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Koudougou, April 12, 2012. Attendees ~22 student-teachers

Focus: Lev Vygotsky/Scaffolding Techniques

At the University of Koudougou, I demonstrated how simple chalkboard drawings can enhance learning.  For this, I illustrated Lev Vygotsky’s most notable concepts — social constructivism, the zone of proximal development, and scaffolding – to support my point in discussion.

April 12, 2012, University of Koudougou student-teachers

April 12, 2012, University of Koudougou student-teachers

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Togo English Teachers’ Organization Conference (TETO)

 Lome, Togo, April 21, 2012.

Attendees ~100 teachers. Focus: Scaffolding

In Lome, during our ELFP mid-year regional conference, I focused my training sessions on ‘scaffolding’ techniques to support student understanding, such as drawings and elicitation.

April 21, 2012, TETO conference workshop

April 21, 2012, TETO conference workshop

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ENGLISH CLUBS

‘I Have a Dream’ – Ouagadougou, Ziniare, and Fada. February, 2012.

Attendees ~120 teens. Objective: Express figures of speech

In February, I visited several locations with the PAS and used MLK’s ‘I have a dream speech’ to highlight figures of speech (FOS), such as metaphor, simile, anaphora, epistrophe, and hyperbole. Later we held essay contests to allow participants to demonstrate their understanding.

February 22, 2012, Fada participants and FOS drawings

February 22, 2012, Fada participants and FOS drawings

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‘Stories Matter ’ –Koudougou, March 20, 2012.

Attendees ~32 young adults. Objective: Listening comp./Critical thinking

At the University of Koudougou, I presented a lesson that emphasized critical thinking. The students were asked to complete a worksheet as they watched Chimamanda Adichie’s TED Talk presentation (October 2009) called The danger of a single story. After viewing, small student groups brainstormed and presented positive aspects about their country. They eventually agreed on sixteen positive national features that should matter to the Burkinabe.

March 20, 2012 University of Koudougou English Club

March 20, 2012 University of Koudougou English Club

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‘Great Plains’– Bobo-Dioulasso, American Corner, April 12, 2012.

Attendees ~75 young adults. Objective: Speaking/Collaboration

In Bobo, with the PAS, the learning objective was group discussion about the Great Plains episode of the BBC series Planet Earth. For this, we used Venn diagrams to compare and contrast grassland animals and support each group’s presentation.

April 12, 2012, Bobo Dioulasso American Corner

April 12, 2012, Bobo Dioulasso American Corner

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 ‘Gadget-ready news reporters’ – The University of Koudougou;

American Corner in Bobo-Dioulasso, May 10 and 11, 2012.

Attendees ~101 young adults. Objective: Critical thinking/Collaboration

During May, the PAS wanted to convey the importance of a free-press. So I sought to encourage our participants to see themselves as “the media” in a gadget-ready world. For this, I used a series of illustrations about an earthquake in a fictitious country called Kanahz. Student groups surveyed the images, objectively reported the situation, added headlines, and reported their stories to the class.

May 11, 2012, Bobo-Dioulasso American Corner

May 11, 2012, Bobo-Dioulasso American Corner

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 ‘The bright side’ – The University of Ougadougou (UO)

May 18, 2012. Attendees ~120 young adults.

Objective: Critical thinking/Collaboration/Speaking

The objective of this UO lesson was to have student-groups agree on positive aspects about Burkina Faso, and then share their ideas as a whole class. Again, as in Koudougou on March 20, I tried to help increase the students’ optimism about chronically impoverished Burkina Faso.

May 18, 2012, UO English Club Staff

May 18, 2012, UO English Club Staff

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‘Friends around the world’ – Gaoua, May 31, 2012.

Attendees ~50 children. Objective: Speaking/Making introductions

In Gaoua, with the PAS, the learning objective was to make introductions and have fun with English. First, I used games and chants to prepare the children for a picture book called ‘Friends Around the World.’ After we read aloud, they modeled the story language and made their own introductions. Each child also received a copy of the book and a new pencil.

May 31, 2012, Gaoua kids after an English Club

May 31, 2012, Gaoua kids after an English Club

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‘Sorry!’ – UO, June 28, 2012.

Attendees ~120 young adults. Objective: Critical thinking

The objective of this UO lesson was to show students how the word sorry is often overused and applied to intentional or controllable situations, such as lateness.

I had two goals: First, compel the students to not make, in essence, trivial apologies for intentional acts and, instead, accept the consequences. Second, get students to strive to be more considerate, dutiful, and earnest, thus create fewer situations to say sorry.

June 28, 2012, UO English Club

June 28, 2012, UO English Club

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 ‘Civility in Development’ – UO, July 25 to August 23, 2012.

Attendees ~15 young adults. Objective: Academic writing

This essay contest coincided with a webinar titled Unraveling the Mystery of Academic Writing by Dr. Kelli Odhuu & Heather Benucci. The results showed that these 3rd year students have valid opinions but will need more than an occasional writing activity to improve their skills. The Top 3 writers were awarded Peter Masters’ (2004) English Grammar and Technical Writing.

'Civility in Development' essay winners

‘Civility in Development’ essay winners

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   ‘Hot Topics’ – Ouagadougou, April 11 – June 13, 2012.

Attendees ~29 employees of ASECNA, an association for regional air traffic control, navigation and security. Objective: Discussion/Critical thinking

The objective of this advanced-level course was to refine the students’ English speaking skills, while considering important trends in both the United States and Burkina Faso. Our weekly forum gave students two hours to discuss randomly chosen ‘Hot Topics’ that included human rights (e.g. gender equality, same-sex marriage), social trends (e.g. diversity, gadgetry, luxury), and environmental issues (e.g. climate change, ‘going green’). The unpredictable nature of our randomly selected topics, the multimedia presentations and co-facilitation kept our discussions lively, and the experience memorable.

            

Spring 2012 ‘Hot Topics’ participants

Spring 2012 ‘Hot Topics’ participants

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