This last week has been very busy preparing and delivering a weekend of English Language Improvement Training. The participants were 120 English teachers from schools in the local cluster area and the training took place in two separate centres. We were based at Hagre Salem, a small town halfway between Abi Adi and Mekele, and so about 60 teachers from the surrounding schools attended our workshop. Overall, the training was a success and the trainees said they enjoyed it and learnt a lot from the different activities. Here we are doing brain gym and some other activities.
The work focused on activities that encouraged active learning and communication skills. Generally, the level of understanding for reading and writing amongst students and teachers is reasonable. However, listening and especially speaking are of a very low standard for many reasons. Conversation never really gets beyond basic greetings, even with many years of study, so there is a lot of scope for improvement in these areas.
Hagre Salem (or “Halfway Salem” as it’s been renamed by us due to it’s location between the major towns) is at a much higher altitude, perhaps about 2500m, so the weather was noticeably colder. Our colleagues had warned us to take warm clothes and although it was a little bit chilly at night and the locals walked around in blankets it was not in the same league as the weather back home. We have been amazed by the snow in the UK! Sometimes we forget it’s nearly December as the weather here is so unchanging. On the way home the college car was stocked up on Hagre Salem Tej (a local speciality) for our colleagues, and Dhamayanthi sang us a song as we made it back to Abi Adi.