English Language Fellows Leanne Cameron (Rwanda) and Renee Lynch (Burundi) teamed up to facilitate teacher training for rural teachers in Kigutu, Burundi. Nineteen local teachers gathered at the site of local NGO Village Health Works for two days of activities focused on using games to build English fluency.

The workshop presented a wide range of games to play for elementary and middle schoolers. Cameron and Lynch demonstrated many games from the “Activate” series, including Guess What, Word Bricks, and the board games Name Your Favorite and Use a Word. The Fellows emphasized the flexibility of the games in terms of materials and learning objectives and encouraged teachers to reflect on how they could use them in their classrooms. Teachers participating adapted the games to fit their local contexts.

At the end of the workshop, participants received certificates as well as a copy of the “Activate” games to share for use in classrooms and Access activities. Additionally, the Fellows gave out two US Office of English Language Programs’ books (Celebrate: Holidays in the USA and In The Loop) and eight CDs containing English Language Programs materials for teaching.

“Traditional teaching in Burundi does not typically include student-centered activities such as games, which allow students to practice using English. These workshops foster a growing professional community of teachers who can support each other and sustain the development of new teaching practices,” Lynch said.

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