Summer Institute

May 23 - June 3,2011

The NALRC hosted the 12th Annual Summer Institutethis year from May 23rd to June 3rd at the Universityof Wisconsin-Madison. The goal of the two weekprogram was to build the teaching skills of the participants in each of their specific African languages.The program centered on both theoretical instructionas well as practical instruction in which the participants actively taught the entire class mini-lessons in their languages. Both aspects of the workshop were geared towards making the participants better teachers by training them in second language acquisition teaching practices.The topics covered in the two-week program were:

  • Teaching the skills of speaking and listening in the African language classroom
  • Teaching the skills of writing and reading in the African language classroom
  • Testing and assessing the four skills in the African language classroom
  • Lesson planning and classroom management

There were a total of 19 participants drawn from across the United States and Africa in thisyear’s summer institute. The languages that were represented included Akan-Twi, Swahili, Sesotho,Wolof, Yoruba, Somali, Urhobo, and Zulu. The participants were privileged to have Steve Timm andJoe Nosek from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’sEnglish as a Second Language Department as their instructors. Both instructors have been involved in the institute for several years and were thrilled to be ableto participate in the institute again this year.

Throughout the institute, the participants were introduced to different ways of teaching and imparting speaking and listening skills to their students. SteveTimm demonstrated how to teach the communicative approach in language learning by presenting an Italian lesson to the participants. His lesson was adopted asthe model for each of the participants to follow as they presented mini-lessons of their languages to all the other participants. Joe Nosek introduced to theparticipants how to teach reading and writing skills, as well as grammar, in a fun and non-threatening way.The institute also taught the participants how to create syllabi for their classes, and how to prepare tests forthe students.

An awards ceremony was held in Bascom Hall on thenight of June 3rd, 2011, which was attended by the participants and several invited guests. After opening remarks from Professor Schleicher, the Director ofthe NALRC and Professor of African Languages and Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Professor Dustin Cowell, Chair of the Department of African Languages and Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the ceremony began with some cultural performances from the participants. The performances were from the languages of Zulu, Akan-Twi, Swahili, Yoruba, Urhobo, Sesotho, and Wolof.The instructors, Joe and Steve, also gave performances.Joe performed a highly skilled routine on the harmonica, and Steve gave a tribute to his students with a poem he composed for the occasion. Theparticipants of the institute itself came up and gavereflections on their experiences over the two weeks of the program. All speakers emphasized how grateful they were to be there, and how much they had learned from the institute. Then Steve and Joe took the stage yet again to give a comical demonstration ofwhat they learned from the participants.

Finally Professor Jacques du Plessis, from the Universityof Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Professor Dustin Cowell presented the participants with their certificates.Closing remarks and thanks were given by Thulani John Mbuli, a member of the Summer Institute. Hethanked the Professor and all the staff of the NALRCfor the wonderful opportunity given to him.

The following fellows receivedcertificates of completion from the NALRC Summer Institute

Emoubonuvie M. Ajiboye - Delta State University -Urhobo

Peter Mwangi - St. Lawrence University - Swahili

Thelma Tshesane - University of Witwatersrand -Sesotho

Ablaye Diakite - Boston University - Wolof

Galen Sibanda - Stanford University - Zulu

Barbara Tetteh - University of Ghana - Ga/Akan-Twi

Bongani Mbatha - University of Wisconsin-Madison- Zulu

Samuel Kofi Darkwa - University of Wisconsin-Madison – Akan-Twi

Adeola Agoke - University of Wisconsin-Madison -Yoruba

Mor Gueye - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Wolof

Mbhekiseni Madela - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Zulu

Filipo Lubua - University of Wisconsin-Madison -Swahili

Jennifer Rosenbush - Boston University - Zulu

Thulani John Mbuli - University of Zululand - Zulu

Ntandoni Gloria Biyela - University of Zululand - Zulu

Oumar Ba - University of Florida - Wolof

Lincoln Zamokwakhe Khumalo - University of Zululand - Zulu

Omar Hashi - University of Florida – Somali