“All subject teachers are English Teachers”: Training given on classroom English and Active Learning Methods.

 

Students are expected to have a well-developed understanding and command of English as they have been taking major subjects in English since Grade 9 and all the way to their university education. For this reason, it is crucial to work on and with students on their English mastery starting from earlier grades.

In line with this notion, Haramaya University’s Community Development Directorate in collaboration with School of Foreign Languages and Journalism gave a training for 40 teachers from the surrounding schools focusing on Classroom English and Active Learning Methods from December 24 to December 25, 2016.

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On the training, 15 teachers were from Meta Woreda, 15 from Kersa Woreda higher and preparatory schools and 10 were from a new school around Finkile area in Haramaya Woreda; the teachers were all first time trainees.

Dr. Alemayehu Getachew, Head of the School of Foreign Languages and Journalism and one of the trainers, said many teachers have doubts on students’ understanding of subject matters when they switch from learning in their mother tongue to learning most subjects in English. Because of these, they continue on teaching in students’ mother tongue and tis create a gap when these students go to universities; they would have low level of language skill and would face difficulties in their learning. Working on and with students from earlier grades would be a good solution. This can not only be implemented by English teachers but by teachers who teach other basic courses in English too. Therefore, the training was given with the underlining notion “All subject teachers are English teachers.”

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From the training attendees, teachers Rediet Mekonnen and Bedriya Mohammed said they have gained the skill in what kind of English to use and in what way, how to encourage students to speak in English in classrooms and how to use students’ mother tongue for course deliveries appropriately. These teachers also said, they have been teaching students in local languages instead of English but they have come now to the understanding that this has not been helping students. Through the skills they have taken from the training, they said, they would encourage students to develop their language skills.

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Dr. Admasu, Community Development Directorate Director, said similar kind of trainings have been given to teachers from Harar and Haramaya towns and the University would give other trainings in the future so as to strengthen schools and teachers in the surrounding areas

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