Summer Institute 2005 Report
The NALRC was once again proud to host its annual summer institute, making this the 6th year of the institute. Fellows came from universities all over the country, representing Swahili, Wolof, Setswana, Lingala, Luganda, Yoruba, and Turkish, expanding on the growing focus of less commonly taught languages as a whole.
This year's institute comprised of a workshop, spanning from May 31st to June 13th, and a celebratory dinner and certificate ceremony on the final day. For two weeks the institute was home to the 9 fellows attending, as well as 2 returning institute leaders from UW-Madison, Steve Timm and Kathy Moulton, the staff of the NALRC, and the Director of the NALRC, Prof. Antonia Schleicher. The yearly wave of teaching assistants, lecturers, and faculty members trained at the summer institute is a good sign for the future of African language pedagogy.
The institute focused on developing skills in teaching speaking, listening, reading, and writing, while maintaining a class conducted almost exclusively in the target language. Special attention was given in how to keep students interested and enthusiastic about learning languages, and how to maximize their learning capabilities.
An opening welcome from the Director of the NALRC, Prof. Antonia Schleicher, started the institute off the first day, followed by introductions from the fellows, the leaders, and the NALRC staff. After greetings had been exchanged, there was a short tour of campus and lunch, but then it was back to business.
For the next two weeks, the institute fellows would teach a series of short lessons to each other, each lesson with the goal to be taught entirely in the target language. After each lesson, the fellows and their institute leaders commented and critiqued the lessons, sharing knowledge, advising one another, and improving teaching skills.
Steve Timm led the first week of the workshop, focusing on the teaching aspects of speaking and listening. Although the fellows had a great deal of information to absorb, Steve's humorous and friendly demeanor made the workshop fun, as well as challenging.
Kathy Moulton followed the second week, leading the workshop in teaching reading and writing. Kathy demonstrated how to keep students interest levels up, having the fellows participate in language games and contests. These contests showed the summer institute class of 2005 to be the most competitive class yet, even turning to a videotape of "instant replay" to figure out who won a certain game!
On the last day of the institute, a closing ceremony was held in the Solitaire room at the Madison Downtown Concourse Hotel. Prof. Antonia Schleicher delivered a closing speech, congratulating all the fellows on the completion of their certificates and stressing the importance of the future generation of African language teachers. Reflections were given by Esther Lisanza, Marko Mwipopo, and speeches were given by Steve Timm and Kathy Moulton (who also prepared a short kit incorporating all 7 languages taught during the institute), and Mamarame Seck. Certificates were presented to the following 9 fellows:
1. Akinsola Ogundeji – University of Wisconsin-Madison.
2. Awa Sarr – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
3. Bavwidinsi Bawawana – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
4. Esther Lisanza – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
5. Yasin Ozturk – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
6. George Lugalambi – Pennsylvania State University, State College.
7. Basetsana Maposa – Ohio University, Athens.
8. Mamarame Seck – Indiana University, Bloomington.
9. Marko Mwipopo – University of Oregon, Eugene