English teachers discuss new methodologies | The new times

Teachers from across Africa and beyond gathered last week in Kigali to deliberate on ways to improve the teaching of English.

The meeting brought together more than 300 participants from Africa, the Middle East, the United States as well as the United Kingdom.

It was held at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Center (CIPR) in Kigali under the theme “New horizon in the teaching of the English language”.

Participants were members of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages ​​(TESOL), a professional association whose mission is to provide English language excellence for people who speak other languages.

Dr Okon Effiong, Founder of TESOL Africa, said the conference was an opportunity to bring together teachers from across the continent and around the world to learn from each other, discuss challenges and share experiences to achieve new ways to teach English better. .

“The main challenge is resources. We have no facilities, funding for language teaching is not important, teachers need training, we need language books, and all of that needs money. When governments commit and put money aside to do this, the English language can improve,” he said.

“Teachers should try harder to be creative so that students are interested in and learn to speak and write English. We also need technology because without technology we cannot succeed in this time,” he added.

According to Richard Niyibigira, head of the Association of English Teachers in Rwanda, the conference allowed them to learn from each other on how to improve their profession.

He said that currently, teachers in Rwanda face challenges associated with old teaching methods where the emphasis was on grammar rather than communication skills.

Other challenges, he said, are associated with the recent switch from French to English as the language of instruction, where many teachers of French origin are not yet fluent in English.

“What will be introduced is giving students a lot more time to speak and use their language skills. This will allow them to better develop their skills. We had the chance to learn all the new methodologies from the conference,” he said.

Juliet Muhoza, a teacher from GS Kanombe, said the training was very useful.

“We really benefited a lot from this conference; it is a good platform for networking. We met teachers from different backgrounds and learned from them how to improve our weaknesses when teaching English,” she said.

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