The English Language fellows of the US Department of State tasked with helping the teaching of the English language in different parts of the globe marked their 50th anniversary at a conference held in Addis Ababa with the gathering of fellows in Africa.
Hosted by the US Embassy in Addis Ababa, the annual African English Language Fellows mid-year conference which also marked the anniversary of the Fellowship Program, started on Wednesday, February 20, 2019, at Capital Hotel and Spa.
According to the press release the Embassy sent to The Reporter, “The conference brought together more than 20 English Language Fellows serving in 13 African countries to share their skills, best practices and strengthen the network of English Language Fellows in Africa.” The statement also added that since 2002, about 25 US English Language Fellows have served in Ethiopia. These are cultural ambassadors promoting the English language learning and mutual understanding through cultural exchange.
“Since the program has been around for so long, it demonstrates how important it is and how successful it has been, so far. Over the past 50 years, we continue to get more and more requests from our host institutions and partners in Ethiopia and all across sub- Saharan Africa and the world that we can carry out,” George M. Chinnery, the Regional English Language Officer (RELO) told The Reporter.
“We are going to be focusing on the most critical issues that teachers face trying to teach English like teaching hundreds of students from different ages using very limited resources. So, we are going to be focusing very specifically on how to address those issues. To help us with that, we have invited an expert in that area,” the Embassy’s Public Affairs Officer, Amanda Jacobson added.
During the conference, the fellows who came from different parts of the world shared their skills, experiences and what lessons they have learned to one another.
Following the conference, the English Language Fellows and English Language Specialists are set to travel to Bahir Dar, Haramaya, Jimma and Gambella to provide trainings to students and English language teachers in Ethiopia including those in refugee camps.
It is said that, through this program, thousands of educators (fellows) have travelled to over 80 countries around the world teaching the English language.
Contributed by Nardos Fekadu