What is EELTNET ?
What are its aims ?
What is going to do ?
What has the group done so far ?
Welcome to the first newsletter of the Ethiopian English Language Teachers Network (EELTNET )
What is EELTNET ?
EELTNET is the result of a meeting open to all teachers of English, held at the Ghion Hotel in Addis Ababa on 25 March 2000.
Over seventy people from all parts of the country and all levels of education attended the meeting and agreed unanimously on the need for some form of professional association or network to bring together English Language practitioners throughout Ethiopia. EELTNET is a provisional name for this association
What are its aims?
EELTNET aims to provide opportunities for English teachers in Ethiopia to develop their professional knowledge and skills by sharing experiences with each other and with fellow English language teachers, trainers, writers, and researchers throughout the world.
What is it going to do?
Members of the March meeting elected a working group chaired by Dr Abiye Daniel of Addis Ababa University.
What has the group done so far ?
Constitution We have looked at a constitution proposed earlier for an association of language teachers in Ethiopia and at those of other ELT associations internationally.
We propose to present a draft constitution to EELTNET at a general meeting on 30 September. At this time officers will be formally elected, details of membership agreed, and a vote taken on the best name for the association/network.
Activities It was decided that one of the best ways of keeping teachers in touch in Ethiopia is through a newsletter. This will be sent to all members free.
A conference (see next column) is planned for September 2000.
Funding Initial sponsorship for the network has been obtained from the British Council and we are actively pursuing funding sources at the public affairs office of the American Embassy and with other embassies of English speaking countries.
The first national conference for teachers of English in Ethiopia will be held in Addis Ababa from 28 to 30 September.
Developing Teaching Skills
Workshops, practical talks and research findings
Plenary sessions by international speakers
Special interest groups bringing together those of similar professional interests
Panel discussions on the burning issues facing ELT in Ethiopia today
Publishers' exhibition and book sale
Discussions on forming and organising national and local teachers associations
Social and cultural events
Are you going to participate?
All expenses will be paid for those whose presentation proposals are accepted. Expenses will also be covered for selected participants from outside Addis Ababa.
English teaching news from Ethiopia and beyond
Workshop report: issues in English language education
This workshop, sponsored by Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and supported by the British Council and the USAID BESO Project, took place at the Ministry of Education on 24 and 25 March 2000. It brought together English language professionals from all over Ethiopia, representing TTIs, TTCs, and University Colleges, Regional Education Bureaux, Addis Ababa University, and representatives from EMA, ICDR and the Ministry of Education. VSO volunteers who are teaching English in secondary schools as part of a pilot project also participated.
The main objectives of the workshop were:
To consider the important issues concerning English Language Education in Ethiopia
To discuss ways forward, possible ways of tackling these issues
All participants were sent a questionnaire beforehand, and asked to canvass the English department staff on their opinions. The answers they gave provided the basis for group discussion during the workshop, which focused on a series of questions. These were divided into topic areas: methodology, resources, curriculum content, assessment, student behaviour, initial teacher training and teacher development. Some of the focus questions were:
Responses were varied and often heated. In the final session, six groups came up with different suggestions as to the way forward - with particular emphasis on the formation of some sort of association or network for English language teachers.
- How can we implement learner-centred teaching in our classrooms?
- How can the curriculum we've got be made to fit the students we've got?
- How can we create well-qualified English teachers for our schools?
- How can English language professionals keep up to date?
- What sort of teacher-student relationship do we want, and how can we get it?
- How can we motivate students and help them to become more active learners?
- How can we encourage all students, particularly female students, to participate in class?
- How can we help students create their own opportunities to practise English outside class?
Despite the fact that the workshop was all too short, and that limited funds did not allow a wider participation, everyone judged the event to have been a worthwhile experience and would welcome regular opportunities to get together in the future.
Hilary Plass VSO, Addis Ababa
IATEFL Conference, Dublin
I was invited to attend the annual conference of the International Association of Teachers of
English as a Foreign Language as the EELTNET delegate. This
year the conference was held in the Irish capital Dublin.
The patron, David Crystal, presided over the opening session where Professor Donald Freeman talked about "Mapping the Borders of Our Work".
I hope that we too in Ethiopia can provide a forum where scholars can come and talk to us about their work.
The conference had a special day for Associates where experiences of starting and organising national or local associations were shared. Both Ethiopia and Kenya had representatives wanting to set up English Teachers' associations, which we hope will soon be a reality.
Abiye Daniel, ILS, Addis Ababa University
The Annual Conference of the Institute of Language Studies, Addis Ababa University was held on 26 and 27 May.
Papers on English Language Teaching explored such themes as Gender in Undergraduate Writing, the Effect of Academic Background on Reading Comprehension, Using Songs to teach Listening Comprehension.
If you have any news for us to include in our next issue which will come out in September 2000
please send us an article.
C/o The British Council
PO Box 1043
details, please contact:
Head, English Language Services: Solomon Hailu (Dr)