Oujda is a city of about 500,000 located in the north eastern part of Morocco about 10 miles west of the Algerian border and about 35 miles south of the Mediterranean Sea. Oujda is a conservative town, but the people are friendly and welcoming and there is an insatiable demand for learning English and learning more about the United States. There is a dynamic (but small) expatriate community, and there are frequent art and music festivals held in the newly re-designed center of town. The climate is hot and dry in summer but can get quite cold and rainy in winter. The small towns on the Mediterranean coast are about an hour away by taxi. Rabat is a 7 to 9 hour bus or train ride from Oujda. Fes, one of Morocco’s most famous and most historic cities, is about 4 hours from Oujda by bus or train.
Host Institution: American Language Center Oujda
The American Language Center’s Oujda branch opened for classes in January 2012. After only a few short months, the Center became THE place to learn English in Oujda and a major social center for the Oujda community. The U. S. Embassy Public Affairs Section established an American Corner in Oujda back in 2007 in partnership with the Oujda Municipality. The Corner is open to the public and has a steady stream of visitors doing research and taking advantage of its WiFi connectivity. The Corner also has programs for university students and has a close relationship with the American Language Center (ALC) which also holds programs and events at the Corner. There is a great opportunity here for the Fellow to help the American Corner with strategic planning, innovative programming, and outreach to new audiences in order to strengthen ties among the ALC, the American Corner, Access Programs in the region, the University and the U.S. Embassy.
- The Fellow will work with the American Language Center to expand programming using the American Corner in Oujda to reach new audiences in the Oujda area. These audiences include teachers (who can participate in webinars, MOOC camps and other online offerings at the Corner, for example), youth audiences who come to the Corner to learn more about American culture and to participate in English clubs, and teachers from the university looking to improve their language proficiency and learn new teaching techniques. There is a lot of interest on the part of local teachers in professional development, and not very many outside opportunities for this.
- The Fellow will work fairly independently to organize regular meetings and training sessions for area teachers on topics relevant to their needs and context, such as student-centered teaching, project-based learning, communicative activities, and teaching large classes in a low resource environment.
- The Fellow will facilitate extracurricular activities for university students or the general public of up to 100 to 200 people as the American Corner is completing the addition of an auditorium space.
- The Fellow will teach classes at the ALC as needed.
The Fellow may be asked to:
- Visit Access classes in the region of Oujda as a guest speaker/teacher, and to do teacher training projects with Access teachers and other public school teachers possibly at the American Corner in Oujda.
- Do guest speaker events at Mohammed I University in Oujda.