In collaboration with the National English Language Inspector for Comoros, Fatima Choamni, English Language Fellow Bryce Smedley organized the first National English Teachers Conference in the Union of Comoros. The two-day conference brought together English teachers throughout the island nation for teacher training workshops and networking.

Located in the Indian Ocean, between Mozambique and Madagascar, Comoros does not have a national organization for its ESL teachers. This conference is an attempt to change that. “This is a call to action, to protect our field, to grow professionally and to better serve our students,” said Choamni, “It’s time for a professional ESL teachers association in Comoros.”

Choamni, along with Smedley, led a roundtable discussion with teachers on the creation of a new Comorian English Language Teachers Association as part of the two-day conference. More than 60 educators participated: teachers came from primary, secondary, university, private schools, and local NGOs attended.

The conference included workshops on material development, lesson planning, and using technology in the classroom. Teachers got to use the U.S. Department of State’s Trace Effect video game and learn about the American Corners Program, a network of State Department-funded regional resource centers with information on American culture, government, and current events. Teachers also attended a workshop on teaching English through tourism. “It’s critically important we teach English to students if we are going to grow our tourism sector,” stated one participant.

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