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Summer Institute 2007 Report

For the 8th year running, the National African Languages Resource Center hosted a Summer Institute in Madison, WI for professional development in the teaching of African languages. Through these annual institutes, the NALRC has equipped a total of 126 African language instructors, practitioners and enthusiasts in the latest communicatively-oriented approaches in teaching African languages to both native speakers and foreign learners and students.

New teachers such as university Teaching Assistants benefit from hands-on, research supported African language pedagogy. They also get a sense of the atmosphere of a new foreign language classroom while experienced teachers learn new strategies and techniques to apply to their classrooms. New instructors also benefit from the cultural knowledge that the American instructors, Steve Timm and Joe Nosek bring to the Institute.

The 2007 Institute began on Tuesday, May 29, and ran until Friday, June 8. Twenty-four African language teachers and enthusiasts converged at Madison from various locations such as Fisk University, Howard University, University of Lagos(Nigeria), Indiana University and Yoruba Wunmi (UK). African languages represented at this year's institute were Kiswahili, Yoruba, Akan-Twi, ChiShona, Lango, Xhosa, Arabic and Wolof.

Instructors for this year's institute were Steve Timm and Joe Nosek, UW-Madison teachers and practitioners of diverse pedagogical theories for the language classroom. During the first week of the institute, Mr. Timm taught and modeled best practices for instruction in speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Mr. Nosek led the second week, presenting a variety of strategies for realizing vocabulary retention and providing goal-based assessment.

The group impressed with its determination and advice flowed freely and yet critically across various language groups.

On Thursday, June 7, a ceremony to present certificates to participants was held in Bascom Hall. Opening remarks were delivered by NALRC Director, Professor Antonia Schleicher and Professor Sandra Arfa, Director of the Program in English a Second Language at UW-Madison. Prof. Schleicher stressed the importance of skills gained from the Institute in equipping African language teachers in their classroom teaching. Participants, professors and invited guests were treated to an evening of blues and harmonica music by the multi-talented Joe Nosek. Moses Mabayoje and his Yoruba ensemble chipped in with their Oriki Olodumare (praise poetry) and Joe Nosek partnered with and Steve Timm for their humorous "Performance and Speech Act” to conclude this section of the ceremony. Thereafter, Professor Tejumola Olaniyan of the Departments of English and African Languages and Literature gave a brief speech, noting the great work of the NALRC continues to do in training African language teachers before presenting certificates to participants.

The closing remarks and Vote of Thanks were delivered by Aissatou Diop-Hashim, a French professor and aspiring Wolof instructor at Howard University.

After the awards were given out, everyone enjoyed dinner provided by Buraka Restaurant while African music throbbed in the background. The following teachers and practitioners received certificates of completion from the NALRC:

Seth A. Ofori (Akan), University of Wisconsin-Madison

Saddam Issa (Arabic), Beloit College - WI

Reem M. Hilal (Arabic), University of Wisconsin-Madison

Mary Youssef (Arabic), University of Wisconsin-Madison

Said Hannouchi (Arabic), University of Connecticut-Storrs

Sami Alkyam (Arabic), University of Wisconsin-Madison

Joseph Chikowero (ChiShona), University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ashford M. Njogu (Kiswahili), University of Kansas-Kansas

David Wambua Kyeu (Kiswahili), University of Wisconsin-Madison

Florence Ebila (Lango), University of Wisconsin, Madison

Elaine Mshomba (Kiswahili), University of Pennsylvania, PA

Nasra Ahmed (Kiswahili), Indiana University-Bloomington

Mohamed Yunus Rafiq (Kiswahili), Indiana University-Bloomington

Zablon Mgonja (Kiswahili), Fisk University-Nashville, TN

Beatrice Mkenda (Kiswahili), University of Wisconsin-Madison

Merchades M. Rutechura (Kiswahili), University of Wisconsin-Madison

Francis Fanyana Lukhele (Xhosa), University of Wisconsin-Madison

Aderoju Adepoju (Yoruba), Lagos State Radio Service, Nigeria

Florence Olufolake Olamijulo (Yoruba), University of Wisconsin-Madison

Adeyemisi A. Haastrup (Yoruba), Yoruba Wunmi -  UK

Titilayo Ayoola Shotonwa (Yoruba), Lagos State Radio Service, Nigeria

Olajumoke S. Mofolasayo (Yoruba), Tai Solarin University of Education, Nigeria