SAT: English Language Teaching in a Developing Country: Towards a framework of implementation (Sophia Economides)
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Dr Simon Ball
7 February 2014
This presentation will examine a charity-led project aiming to enhance and promote teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in Togo. Togo is a former French colony in West Africa. The main language of education is French, however there is strong interest in the development of English language tuition.
The project comprises three areas of action: the professional development of English language teachers for primary and secondary education, the establishment of a volunteer scheme for teachers and trainers from overseas and, to a lesser extent, the training of people in or about to enter economic activity. The solutions will have to address several problems in order to ensure a sustainable and financially viable program: the shortage of qualified language teachers, the lack of infrastructure that limits the use of technology, the lack of historical or cultural ties with the English language and the problems faced by the shortage of funding. Cost and future viability are major considerations. Cost effective technologies and open educational resources will be used whenever possible, but quality control and consistency of the materials is an issue for concern.
In the presentation we will look at case studies from Rwanda, Bangladesh and other parts of the world and see how the lessons from these cases could apply to Togo. Initial findings indicate, among others, that a gradual approach that concentrates on empowering teachers is preferable. They also indicate that mobile telephony may be an appropriate medium for the delivery of educational materials.
The study will be used to establish a set of guidelines and a framework of implementation that may be applicable to future projects. It is envisaged that a pilot study will be conducted in Togo to test the initial results, but this is beyond the scope of this work. The framework could be useful in the implementation of teaching projects where resources are limited and could also be used to support projects that promote inclusiveness in education.