Members of the Botswana Association of Teachers of English gathered in Maun and Francistown for a regional ELT workshop, and English Language Fellow Marie Snider was there to support them. Reinforcing the event’s overall theme, Snider started off day one by facilitating a workshop on managing large classes through cooperative learning, with teachers participating in cooperative learning groups. From there, the group moved on to demonstrating and discussing activities that teachers can use in those cooperative groups.
On day two, Snider and the participating teachers continued to discuss group activities. They then made posters the most useful activities they’d found and turned those into a gallery walk. Snider was accompanied by members of the executive committee of the association, who gave presentations on the shift in the national English-language curriculum of Botswana to performance-based learning outcomes. The executive committee members also discussed several simple and straightforward ways that teachers can engage in action research in their classrooms.
These teachers enjoyed their first chance in many years to participate in ongoing professional development. The teachers acknowledged the value of being a part of different activities that demonstrated how they can manage active learning in their own classrooms. Finally, the teachers had a chance to learn first-hand about upcoming changes in the national English curriculum and how they can adjust their own teaching to reflect those curricular changes.
For Marie Snider, it was another chance to get to know the teachers of Botswana, learn new techniques from them, understand their challenges, and make a lasting contribution to English teaching there.