2016 Summer Institute Report
The NALRC held its annual Summer Institute program from May 16th to May 27th 2016 at the at the School of Global and International Studies, Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana. The institute involved an intensive two week training session for language instructors and professionals. The institute fellows came from nine different institutions across the United States and from Nigeria. Languages represented at the Institute were Amharic, Bamanankan, Swahili, Swahili and Yoruba.
The Institute focused on applying field-tested Second Language Acquisition (SLA) techniques and standards to African language pedagogy and emphasizes on the following:
- Using Standards-Based, Thematically Organized, Backward Curriculum Design with Performance Assessment in the three Modes of Communication
- Integrating Language, Culture and Content in the African Language Classroom
- Training participants to create a Learner-Centered Classroom.
Instructors for this year’s institute is the NALRC Director herself (Dr. Antonia Schleicher) and joined by Esther Lisanza, who is seasoned and trained a lead instructor from the previous year workshops from Winston Salem State University. Though this year’s institute was the 17th annual workshop, it was the fourth time it was being hosted at Indiana University, the current home of NALRC.
In the first week, institute fellows learnt how to incorporate multi-skills activities and assessment as part of their instruction routine. They also learnt techniques of being able to adapt to the different language learning styles of the learners. Teaching a foreign language in the context of native speakers was highly emphasized to the fellows.
Dr. Antonia Schleicher used Yoruba as an example in demonstrating how to carry out effective language instruction and utilizing platforms of meaningful communication in the target language; with 98% instruction in the target language. Instructors learnt the efficacy of setting proficiency targets before language classes and doing evaluations for improvement of teaching delivery. Each institute participant subsequently had several opportunities to conduct mini-lessons in their own respective target languages and to practice and employ the techniques that they had learnt in the workshop. The opportunity for collaboration and discussion among peers and the opportunity to learn other African languages was vital to the participants throughout the workshop.
By the end of the institute participants had gained a deeper understanding of creating a student-centered learning environment in their classes constantly reflecting on what learning style best suits their learners in each class. A unique aspect of this institute is that it enables the fellows to be able to critic each others teaching methods while receiving constructive feedback from their colleagues, many of whom are learning the languages used in the demos for the first time. At the end of each micro-teaching, other participants peer review and critics in view of the new methods and teaching skills learnt, helped everyone respectively to improve their teaching methodology and at the end of the workshop, the participants felt the fulfillment and accomplishing a great deal in their teaching skill.
The institute concluded with an awards ceremony on May 27th, 2016 which was chaired by Dr Alwiya Omar in African Studies Indiana University. At the awards ceremony, participants organized presentations in the form of music and cultural dances. Some of the participants gave reflections on their experiences during the program and Betty Dlamini gave vote of thanks.
At the end of the training, the following participants received certificates of completion from the NALRC Summer Institute:
Aderibigbe Moronmubo Federal College of Education, Nigeria Yorùbá
Ajiboye Emuobonuvie Delta State University, Abraka , Nigeria Urhobo
Dube-Makoni Sibusisiwe Pennsylavania State University Zulu
Hagos Werede University of Florida Amharic
Kavaya Susan Indiana University Swahili
Kitito Khalid St. Lawrence University Swahili
Lasisi Falilatu The C.A.K.E. Village Yorùbá
Loy Neema University of Mississippi Swahili
Mustapha Mohammed University of Florida Akan Twi
Obiri-Mainoo Prince M Boston University Akan Twi
Sow Amadou Indiana University Bamanankan
Wawire Gorrety University of Mississippi Swahili
Zungu Zotha University of Florida Zulu
Dlamini Betty Indiana University Zulu