Country:  Sri Lanka
City: Jaffna

Jaffna is the main city of the Tamil-majority Northern province, which is, to a certain extent, still dealing with the after-effects of the country’s civil war that ended in 2009. That being said, one can find modern comforts in the area and the Hindu population ensures that vegetarian meals are readily available. Because it is the center of Tamil culture in Sri Lanka, it is noticeably different from the rest of the country which has a majority of Sinhalese. Despite their differences, people in all parts of Sri Lanka are hospitable and enthusiastically welcome and support Fellows in the country. There are fewer Western organizations and tourists in the Northern province than in other parts of the country, mainly due to its distance from the capital and the country’s other points of interest. Therefore, the Fellow may likely make the trip to other provinces regularly to attend meetings and ELT events and to visit the Embassy’s English program sites. Finally, the country’s education system was created and is still based on the lecture-style British colonial model. Though students will enjoy being taught through more engaging lessons, it will be new for them so they may be reticent at first.

Host Institution: Jaffna National College of Education

The Jaffna National College of Education is an emblem of the intellectual history of the region. Since the time before the civil war, Jaffna has prided itself on its intellectual tradition so its educational system plays a major role in the lives of the Tamil population. Though most of the lecturer colleagues may be very teacher-centered per this tradition, ELT colleagues, their leaders, and their students will be very interested in learning more about new, engaging and student-centered teaching methods and strategies. The Jaffna National College of Education consists of 100% Tamil-speaking students but is looking at the opportunities of enrolling student teachers from the south.

There will be many open opportunities to conduct workshops, lessons and other English programs with students and lecturers throughout the province including at Jaffna University. Also, though the province has a Tamil majority, primary, secondary and university programs are all national programs and come under the purview of the Ministry of Education.

Primary Duties

  • The Fellow will assist in improving pedagogy for key subject areas such as: Listening and speaking, Phonology, Linguistics and TESOL methodology.
  • The Fellow will support student-teachers and faculty in developing techniques appropriate for a low-resource instructional context.
  • The Fellow will develop and strengthen students’ competence in the English language.
  • The Fellow will teach ELT techniques and TESOL methodology to 4 groups of 1st and 2nd year students. Each group will consist of 30-32 students.
  • The Fellow will also teach methodology to a group of 30 primary student teachers.
  • The Fellow will work with the Literacy Associations for one day a month.

Secondary Duties

The Fellow may be asked to:

  • Teach English and soft skills development during the orientation for 1st year students for two weeks during a break in the academic year at the Jaffna National College of Education during December and April.
  • Visit English Access Microscholarship Program centers and the American Corners in Jaffna and Kandy.

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