Cote d’Ivoire National English Language Teachers Association
The Cote d’Ivoire National English Language Teachers Association (CINELTA) is a unified teachers association, covering both general and ESP teachers throughout the country. The association formed through the merger of four distinct associations that had been operating separately, despite overlapping goals. I am an advisor and a founding member of the association, and in their first year I oversaw the successful application for a $25,000 grant from the US Embassy in Abidjan, for teacher development projects throughout the country. I am currently helping the organization prepare to host the 2020 Africa TESOL conference, which will bring teachers and teacher educators from across Africa to Abidjan for three days of professional development.
Social Responsibility Interest Section
I am currently Co-Chair of TESOL International’s Social Responsibility Interest Section. Together with my Co-Chair, I coordinate the IS’s activities, including organizing conference panels for the 2020 TESOL International Convention, and overseeing the IS’s four domains: EL Advocacy, Intersections of Identity and Language Teaching, Professional Learning, and Global Issues.
Cote d’Ivoire ELT Exchange
As part of my work as an English Language Fellow at IPNETP, I designed a three-pronged continuing professional development program for Ivorian English teachers, called the Cote d’Ivoire ELT Exchange. The first phase of the project was teaching workshops for in-service English teachers at ten focus schools throughout Abidjan, on topics identified during a needs analysis that included discussions with teachers and class observations. The second phase was the creation of a website and the filming of videos to create an online course, which will make the content of the in-school workshops available to teachers throughout the country. The final component was the planning of the first national ELT conference, in collaboration with several local teachers’ associations. In the second year, the project expanded to include a training of trainers program for 50 teachers from 25 regions throughout the country. The goal of the project was to foster a culture of continuing professional development for Ivorian teachers.
YALI English for Leadership Classes
This is a course I designed for the Andrew Young Center for Entrepreneurship, an American Space connected to the US Embassy, to teach English and leadership skills to intermediate and advanced learners. It used materials from the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and covered topics related to personal development and social issues. Each class centers around a YALI video and a related high-level language point to help students refine their English.
Social Responsibility Interest Section Newsletter
I am served as co-editor of the newsletter for TESOL International’s Social Responsibility Interest Section from 2017-2019. We published 2-4 issues a year, on various themes related to social justice and English language teaching. Past issues are available online here.
Drama and Storytelling Project
This project was a collaboration between myself and Catherine Njau, a Tanzanian colleague and founder of the Kuleana Group. I designed the curriculum for an extracurricular program focused on multilingual storytelling, digital publishing and dramatization and provided long-distance support as Ms. Njau implemented the project at a secondary school in Tanzania. The students explored both oral and written storytelling techniques and then created their own stories. The students translated their stories (into English, Swahili, Chagga and Hacha) and published them digitally, then dramatized them and performed the plays for the school community. Myself and Ms. Njau presented about the project at TESOL 2018 in Chicago.
Multiple Intelligences Project
This is a project I started for my fellowship in Ecuador. I researched the ways Multiple Intelligences (MI) theory has been adopted both internationally and in Ecuador, and developed teaching activities related to each of the eight intelligences. This lead to student test scores increasing 1.38 points on a ten point scale. I plan to adapt the project for implementation in a Tanzanian secondary school next, and presented the project at TESOL 2018 in Chicago.
Community Action Theatre Project
In Tanzania, I worked on two collaborative theatre pieces with my students, using a process called Community Action Theatre. The students created plays about issues the were important to them, such as early marriage and girls’ education, and performed them for the community. I wrote an article about the process and the way the girls used it to amplify their voices, which is online here.
While I was in the Peace Corps, I collaborated with my school to transform two unused classrooms into a school library. We received grant funding from the Peace Corps Partnership Program and a small donation of books from the US Embassy’s Regional English Language Office. The library opened in 2013.
Reusable Menstrual Pad Project
Another project I worked on as part of my Peace Corps service was a collaboration with Huru International to distribute reusable menstrual pad kits to 400 girls at two schools. The project inspired Catherine Njau to start the community organization Kuleana Group, which has distributed over 2600 kits to girls in 8 schools. Now, in order to distribute the pads more sustainably, the have started Waridi Reuseable Sanitary Pads to produce them locally.