‘American classroom strategies abroad’Lycee Djedji Amondji Pierre – Abidjan

February 15, 2014.

Attendees – 25 English teachers.

Objective: Access online teaching resources.

On this occasion, I introduced 25 Ivorian English language teachers to Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP). SIOP is a widely-researched support model for English language learners in U.S. school content courses, such as Science or Math. The method strives to harmonize crucial teaching components throughout a lesson.

In addition to the overview, I asked participants to watch a U.S. classroom on YouTube and identify eight key SIOP components. The teachers, therefore, learned about SIOP and, just as importantly, how America’s best teaching practices can be viewed online.

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Ivorian English language teachers, February 15, 2014, Abidjan.


‘Sparking confidence from the teaching margins’US EMB – Abidjan

January 23 & 24, 2014.

Attendees – 63 Islamic seminary teachers.

Objective: Applied communicative teaching (ACT).

These English teachers brought meager or no formal training to the workshop. Therefore, I focused on basic communicative English teaching techniques. The goal was to build the teachers’ confidence for more engaging classroom interactions; that is, exchanges that interest learners and, as a result, better support teaching objectives in low-resource environments.

The teachers responded to the training with energetic discussions and productive activities. The level of participation was commendable. Therefore, I felt that confidence from these marginalized perspectives had indeed been strengthened and a greater desire to learn sparked.

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Group A at Teacher Training Workshop, US EMB – Abidjan, January 23 & 24, 2014.

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Group B at Teacher Training Workshop, US EMB – Abidjan, January 23 & 24, 2014.


‘The Artistry of MLK: I have a figure of speechAmerican Corner (Cocody) & Access Class (Bingerville) – Abidjan, January 21 & 31, 2014.

Attendees – 32 participants, American Corner & 21 students, Bingerville.

Objective: Identify and create figures of speech.

The I Have a Dream speech continues to be a teachable moment, including how metaphor, simile, anaphora, epistrophe and hyperbole can enrich a message. I helped these participants understand those figures of speech with several basic examples, and encouraged the group to make their own. Then, while listening to the speech and viewing the transcript, each participant could see how Dr. King skillfully painted August 28, 1963 and future America with figures of speech; that is, he used words, creatively, for his brilliantly affective message.

The teachable moment is that we all have words at our disposal. Now, these Ivorian learners have an inspired illustration of how to use them.

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(l) American Corner – Cocody, January 21; (r) Access – Bingerville, January 31, 2014


‘Education’s role in an ethical society’The National School of Administration – Abidjan, January 11, 2014.

Attendees – 20 teachers and administrators.

Objective: Professional ethics awareness raising.

For this talk, I showcased former Microsoft executive Patrick Awuah’s TED Talk entitled How to educate leaders? Liberal arts. I created a ENA Leadership Activity to emphasize Mr. Awuah’s points on corruption, weak institutions, and poor civic leadership as public detriments in neighboring Ghana. Afterward, the group responded with a lively discussion of professional principles from an Ivorian perspective.

National School of Administration staff, January 11, 2014.

National School of Administration staff, January 11, 2014.


‘Following Mandela – A path to inspiration’American Corner – Abidjan, December 13, 2013.

Attendees – 22 participants.

Objective: Analyze potentially inspirational behavior.

For this event, the group brainstormed similarities between Mr. Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Next, having watched a short retrospective, the group focused on Mr. Mandela. Finally, a list of potentially inspirational acts by Nelson Mandela was compiled. Potentially was the keyword, because, as I strongly emphasized, influence must be accepted by those who choose to act by example. Nelson Mandela’s legacy, the group agreed, is an inspirational and plausible act to follow.

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Remembering Nelson Mandela at the American Corner (Cocody) December 13, 2013, Abidjan.


‘The good question – a vital tool in journalism’Maison de la Presse – Abidjan, December 4, 2013.

Attendees – 12 journalists.

Objective: Practice a framework for inquiry.

For this activity, I used a technique called 3-2-1. First, participants watched a brief news story. Next, each noted three discoveries, plus two especially interesting aspects. Finally, all prepared one question to pose and analyze as a group. The activity demonstrated a useful framework for inquiry and exercised a basic though essential skill for investigative reporting – the ability to ask relevant questions.

Members of the National Union of Journalists, December 4, 2013, in Abidjan.

Members of the National Union of Journalists, December 4, 2013, in Abidjan.


‘Instant Access to American Classics!’US EMB – Abidjan, November 23, 2013.

Attendees – 23 students.

Objective: Exercise access to classic literature.

For this lesson, I first introduced the students to ‘Of Mice and Men’ and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ using SparkNotes.com, an online resource that summarizes and analyzes classic literature. Judging from our lively discussion, I am confident that the lesson sparked a desire in the students to independently access classic American novels.

Access students in Abidjan at Connect USA on November 23, 2013.

Access students in Abidjan at Connect USA on November 23, 2013.


2 Responses to “Sr. ELF 2013 – 2014”

  1. gbeada Says:

    wonderful !!!

  2. bakayoko aboubakar Says:

    it’s really mesmerizing all these pictures, i’m glad, i’m a member of the reading section and i can acknoledge myself in yopougon’s pictures.thank you for everything you are doing for promoting english in countries where it’s not an official language.we are proud, may that god bless you and give you the power to go on.

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