In the beginning of August (literally, August 1st), we welcomed Taylor Conley back for the second year in a row to do intensive training with our teachers in preparation for the coming school year.
(If you would like to know a little bit more about Taylor and why she is involved in Lemuel, read her introductory guest blog here.)
Taylor teaches French Immersion in Canada. Believe it or not, her teaching situation is almost identical in many ways to that of our teachers:
French is not the students' first language. This means that the students are not only learning French, but they are learning other subjects IN French, a second language to them.
French is also a second language for the teacher.
French is not spoken in the students' homes. So there is no reinforcement happening when they are not in school. In fact, their parents know little to no French.
Unless you are truly passionate about education, it would probably be way too overwhelming for me to elaborate on the challenges faced by our teachers and students in the Haitian education system. So, let's koupe kout, mèt nan makout (a Kreyòl proverb to mean, "keep it short") by saying that two of the big challenges we face on the Plateau are 1) the centrality of French and 2) the focus on rote memorization and the lack of creative, engaging teaching methods.
Taylor and her colleague, Danielle, tackled both these challenges by not only addressing methods for teaching French itself, but also teaching IN French and teaching CREATIVELY.
Taylor herself will be writing a guest post soon with her perspective on the fòmasyon, so I will not go into much more detail. However, you can get a little preview by looking at the photos below. Amuse-toi bien!
Taylor has also been heavily involved in providing supplies and French teaching resources to the school. Here, she, Judy, and school director Almaïs are discussing ways the resources could be implemented in the school.
More from Taylor herself soon!