Constantine is a city located in north-eastern Algeria and is about 50 miles from the Mediterranean coast. Regarded as the capital of eastern Algeria, Constantine has a population of 448,374, making it the third largest city in the country after Algiers and Oran. Constantine is a more conservative society than Algiers and Oran. Public transportation is available, including taxis, buses, trams, and an airport. The Constantine climate is cold in the winter with hot summers. Constantine is known as the “city of bridges” due to the deep ravine and accompanying bridges that run through the city center. Constantine has several museums and cultural attractions, including sites of Roman ruins and the Emir Abdelkader Mosque. The restaurant industry in Algeria is small but growing. The majority of Algerians eat their meals at home. Restaurants and cafes tend to either be of the fast food variety or rather formal. Eating at a formal restaurant can be expensive, up to $50 a person, often excluding alcohol. Women are not often seen out alone after dark, and many cafes and restaurants will be filled with couples or men. When in Algiers, the British Club at the British Embassy runs a club that serves alcohol and food two times a week, and Fellows would be able to apply for membership. Constantine is served by a domestic and international airport and a flight to Algiers is less than an hour. Travel between cities is most often done through private vehicle or taxi.
Host Institution: Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) and Islamic University in Constantine
ENS Constantine is a public university in a western province of Algeria run by the Ministry of Higher Education and specializes in teacher training. The ENS English department trains future middle and high school teachers who are pursuing a four and five-year degree respectively. The total student population is approximately 6,557 in the departments of Arabic, French, English, History, Philosophy, Computing, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, and Science. The English Department has approximately 835 students, with approximately 140 graduating each year. The school has limited involvement in international activities such as guest speakers and conference participation. The focus in the department is primarily on the need for effective teaching methodology. ENS teachers are also interested in United States studies courses, particularly American civilization, literature and culture in language teaching. Currently, the English department teaches the four skills, grammar, applied linguistics, pedagogy, phonetics, research methodology, and syllabus design, as well as literature and civilization of English-speaking Africa, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
- The Fellow will help student-teachers learn how to apply Algeria’s 2009 reform elements of English language training (focused on using a competency-based approach as well as project-based learning) in the classroom.
- The Fellow will work with teachers in training – either future middle or high school teachers.
- The Fellow will hold monthly workshops to address some of the problematic issues of English language teaching that ENS students will face in the classroom such as: managing large classes, developing assessment tools, motivating learners, using practical innovative ideas and techniques, lesson planning, developing projects, and developing communication skills.
- The Fellow will work on sample units of Algerian English textbooks to help train future teachers how to use these textbooks effectively. The Fellow is not expected to stick completely to the textbooks, but rather to train students to raise their consciousness and enable them to develop their own teaching materials while respecting the official syllabus.
- The Fellow will train student-teachers to develop supplementary teaching materials as needed to obtain learning objectives. Innovative ideas and creative teaching techniques are highly welcome. Given the fact that students cannot gain a thorough understanding of the teaching process during their short practicum, the Fellow should also provide students an opportunity to consider different styles of language learning and teaching approaches.
- The Fellow will teach 4 sections a week and conduct 2 workshops per week for student teachers.
The Fellow may be asked to:
- Work with the Islamic University in Constantine to develop connections and explore English language learning opportunities with their students.
- Assist in connecting students in the Constantine area with the greater English teaching network in Algeria, including organizing webinar viewing sessions, supporting the nascent TESOL organization, and working with English Access Microscholarship Programs in the region.