Bissau is a capital with a small town vibe, with rocky roads, and relaxing sidewalk cafes. The people welcome Americans, with emphasized warmth to English language teachers. This country is mostly delta and archipelago and consists of an economy based on cashews. Considering its small size, there is an incredible cultural and linguistic variety with eagerness to evolve from a history of coups and war. Visitors to Bissau can expect to be surrounded by appreciative and welcoming workers who appreciate what is brought to assist in building up their nation. The temperatures are warm year round with the rainy season falling between June and October. Portuguese is the official language, but it is recommended to acquire a base level of knowledge/understanding of Creole as this blend of Portuguese and African languages is spoken by the locals.
Host Institution: Tchico Te National Teacher Training College
Tchico Te is the only teacher training college in Guinea Bissau. It trains all public school teachers. Approximately 150 English teachers are currently training there. In the past year RELO and RELO-initiated programs have worked four times with Tchico Te. They have hosted workshops and made their classes available to our facilitators. They are thrilled to have us there. Most of the English teacher trainers at Tchico Te were trained by Peace Corps Volunteers, so they are positively inclined to working with Americans. One indication of the dedication of the faculty and staff: This past year the entire English faculty voluntarily took a 200-hour refresher course in Linguistics and TESOL offered by the current Fellow. Also, the Embassy has moved the American Corner from the university to Tchico Te, due to the seriousness of staff and students.
- The Fellow will be teaching courses such as linguistics, literature, 4 skills, methodology, etc. to future English teachers for 15 hours/week.
The Fellow may be asked to:
- Provide support to the National English Teacher Association (ELTA). The ELTA will be providing a number of workshops for teachers that the Fellow can plug into and support. The Fellow can also help with organizational aspects of the association, such as grant writing and planning.