Friday, January 21, 2011

At Last the ELI

Drafting, redrafting, presenting , representing and presenting again and again changing my tactics, strategies and defence every time I stand to give a presentation on the proposal for the establishment of the English Language Institute. This what I and my colleagues have been doing for the last 4 months. My final presentation was in front of the University Council and I was able to convince them at 11 o’clock p.m. Sunday the 12 of December 2010 for the establishment of the English Language Institute. The head of the council signed for establishment of the ELI next day and after 3 weeks I was appointed the first director of the ELI.
The mission of the ELI is:
*To teach extensive English language courses through a broad curriculum that provides an optimal learning environment, and equips U of K undergraduate and postgraduate students with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in their academic, professional and social settings. ELI also fosters the learning of English language through various programs scheduled on demand to serve Sudanese community.”
Our vision is:
*To become one of the leading English language institutes at both national and international levels by placing quality as its most important goal in all activities and setting standards of excellence in innovative curricula design, teaching, professional development, and international academic cooperation.
We have several projects going on to help in establishment of the ELI. We are all very tired, overworked but very optimistic that the ELI will make change.

Overcoming the Odds: Successful English Language Teaching at University Level in Sub-Saharan Africa

"In most countries in SSA there is an increasing need for universities to be able to produce English speaking graduates. Governments need to recruit employees capable of communicating with other African and overseas governments, international organisations (particularly donor organisations) and foreign investors; while private companies require professionals able to negotiate with international business partners and foreign clients. However, in most non-Anglophone countries students continue to graduate with limited English language skills making it difficult for potential employers to recruit suitable workers and / or forcing them to spend time and money on providing additional language training"
The above was the introduction for the Hornby School workshop hosted by Nileen University from 6-11, November 2010 and organized by the British Council. As one of the trainers in the workshop I felt really lucky to be able meet and sit with teachers from 11 African countries. I think the success of the workshop was not in the quality of sessions but on the number of English language teachers coming from different parts of Africa. There were participants from Eritrea, Rwanda, Ghana, Senegal, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Cameron, Mozambique, South Africa, and Somalia.
This aim of the Hornby School to dovetail the Time for Change conference by looking at practical techniques that teachers can apply to deal with these issues at classroom level in the short and mid-term. In the absence of effective prescribed curricula, the school will also look at what kind of English African students actually need – particularly in the areas of functional English and language skills which teachers tend to neglect – and how teachers can meet these needs.