Country: Sri Lanka
Life in Sri Lanka is very relaxed and very comfortable. Sri Lankans are incredibly hospitable and even complete strangers are very friendly and happy to interact with foreigners. It’s fascinating to learn about and observe the multicultural aspects of the country. The natural beauty of the country is also awe-inspiring, and there are many wonderfully diverse places to visit throughout the country.
As Sri Lanka’s most famous city, in the central part of the country, Kandy trades popular beaches for lush green mountains, which are wonderful for hiking. Though tourists from all parts of the world flood into Kandy every day, the colonial-era vibe still manages to feel small and quaint and it is a great place for a nice stroll or experiencing the cultural or artistic events in the city. The Fellow can find everything he/she needs in modern and well-equipped grocery stores, restaurants, and cafes in the city center, which is easily accessible from all parts of Kandy. The climate is less hot and humid compared to the low-country areas closer to the coast. There’s even an American Corner in the heart of the city in case the Fellow needs a bit of air conditioning or Wi-Fi. Because of its central location in this island-nation, it’s easy to hop on a train or bus from Kandy to any part of the country, including cultural capitals along the north, west, and east coasts and other beautiful spots in the central part of the country.
Host Institution: Mahaweli National College of Education
Mahaweli National College of Education is a pre-service teacher training institution that produces around 450 teachers for the Sri Lankan education system every year. More than 90% of them are female. Mahaweli College of Education functions directly under the Ministry of Education and the National Institute of Education. The training course is a compulsory residential course which runs for 2 years plus an internship year. All prospective teachers receive government funds for their accommodation, food, and education. Due to the deteriorating standards of the Sri Lankan English education system and weaknesses in the recruitment process, the recruited pre-service ESL teachers do not uniformly display the expected competence in the target language.
- The Fellow will assist in improving pedagogy for key subject areas such as Listening and Speaking, Phonology, Linguistics and TESOL methodology.
- The Fellow will develop and strengthen students’ competence in the English Language.
- The Fellow will teach listening and speaking skills to 1st year students for five classes per week. Each group will consist of 30-32 students.
- The Fellow will also teach TESOL methodology to 2nd year students for five classes per week. Each group will consist of 30-32 students.
- The Fellow will be involved in working with the Literacy Associations one day a month. He/she will give guest lectures on phonology to 2nd year students and also assist in digitizing the monthly official magazine produced by the student teachers.
The Fellow may be asked to:
- Conduct a 1 week long workshop for 30-50 English teachers who serve as mentors to regional schools during a break in the academic year at Mahaweli National College of Education in December. A repeat of this workshop may be held in the second week of December at the Jaffna National College of Education.
- Visit English Access Microscholarship Program centers and the American Corners in Jaffna and Kandy.