Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Updates from Gondar, Ethiopia
Gondar Community School
You may recall that I’m working with a group of seventh graders to produce the first school newspaper for the Gondar Community School. I’m happy to report that the actual reporting is underway. The kids are working on their story assignments (about a recent concert; a spelling bee; and Unity Day, among others), and are enthusiastically snapping hundreds of photos of everything that moves. In nine days, we’ll get together to proofread and edit their copy, and begin the design phase. We should have a newspaper in about three weeks.

University classes
My two university courses are going pretty well. Our common roadblock is English, the language of instruction at the University of Gondar, and a second (or third) language for all of these young people. Many (most?) of the students are having problems with their English. I’m doing the best I can to simplify the vocabulary I use in class, and to explain things several ways (at least). I’m doing more charting and diagramming on the white board, and am emphasizing the importance of the students completing the assigned readings. 

My experience teaching international students at Park University is helping, though this UoG experience is unique. At Park, there are lots of native English speakers around to assist, as well as an excellent academic support center. Here, it’s up to me to model English speech and grammar. For my student’s sake, I hope I’m up to the challenge.

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