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2017 Summer Institute Report

The NALRC held its annual Summer Institute program from May 15th to May 26th 2017 was held at the School of Global and International Studies (SGIS), Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana. The institute involved an intensive two week training session for language instructors and professionals. The institute fellows came from seven different institutions across the United States and from Abroad. Languages represented at the Institute were Akan Twi, Hausa, Igbo, Swahili, Wolof, 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.

The Institute was attended by Graduate students in good standing in any African language, linguistics, cultural studies, literature, second language acquisition, and other related field.  African language instructors and scholars were also in attendance.

Instructors for this year’s institute is the NALRC Director herself (Dr. Antonia Schleicher) and joined by Esther Lisanza from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hills. Though this year’s institute was the 18th annual workshop, it was the fifth 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 and at least 98% instruction all the time in the target language were highly emphasized to the fellows. They were also instructed on how to teach grammar in a target language cultural context all based on Standard-Base Curriculum. They also learnt not only the efficacy of setting proficiency targets before language classes, but also how to set it and constantly evaluating their teaching methodology and how to improve their teaching delivery method through both self and other participants’ reflection. Both instructors gave a demonstrative lesson incorporating these concept for the participants.

In the second week, each institute participant 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 other 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 26th, 2017 which was chaired by Dr Esther Mukewa. Some of key personnel, Dean Russell Valentino - Associate Dean, Dean Hilary Khan - Assistant Dean School of Global and International Studies, and Dean Russell Valentino - Associate Dean - School of International Affairs - Indiana University attended the ceremony to congratulate and cheer the participants for the golden opportunity to attend the workshop. Professor Eyamba Bokamba - University of Illinois Urbana Campaign who arrived two days earlier to evaluate NALRC activities was also at the certificate award ceremony.  The participants organized presentations in the form of music and cultural dances in the various languages to entertain the audience. Some of them gave reflections on their experiences during the program and Dr. Omolola Bayo Rasheed gave vote of thanks.

At the end of the training, the  following participants received certificates of completion from the NALRC Summer Institute: 

  • Akiding       Magdalyne Oguti         Ohio University               Swahili
  • Aluso               Salome                                 Ohio University                       Swahili
  • Rasheed      Omolola Bayo             Howard University           Yoruba
  • Bimpong     William Kesse             Ohio University               Swahili
  • Dampha      Musa                           Ohio University               Wolof
  • Diallo           Mouhamadou L          Boston University           Wolof
  • Okyere         Joshua                         Ohio University              kan (Twi)
  • Osuke           Mercy Namikoye        University of North Carolina CH Swahili
  • Hashim         Mustapha Kurfi          Boston University           Hausa
  • Ndimele        Roseline                     Abia State University, Uturu Nig             Igbo
  • Aluko             Yewande                   Indiana University           Yoruba
  • Wawire           Brenda                      Florida State University   Swahili