Interactions in English

Over the past few years, I have been putting my English degrees to good use and publishing a series of English language books for Francophone schools in Cameroon. The series is called Interactions in English and follows the new curriculum, introduced in 2015, which focuses strongly on communicating in English in the real world, and aims to provide the language skills necessary to function successfully at home, at school, work and in the wider world.  

The textbook is organised into five modules which include Family and Social Life; Economic Life and Occupations; Environment, Well-being and Health; Citizenship/Human Rights; and Media and Communication. Each module has 3 units with an assessment section at the end of each module. 

The series was selected by the Cameroonian Ministry of Education as the approved textbooks for use by all Cameroonian pupils, which I was well chuffed about.

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Ulwazi: A Model for Public Participation Through Digital Technology & Crosscultural Exchange

Born of political shifts and a changing, post-apartheid policy environment that advanced a participatory approach to heritage, the Ulwazi Program is a South African library initiative set up by the eThekwini Municipality’s Libraries and Heritage Department to “preserve and disseminate indigenous knowledge of local communities in the greater Durban area.”

It creates a collaborative online database of local indigenous knowledge as part of the public library’s digital resources, relying on community participation for delivering
content and posting the content on the web. The project is a collaborative, online, local knowledge resource in English and Zulu (the most commonly used languages in Durban), in the form of a “Wiki,” much like Wikipedia, but localized for the eThekwini Municipality.

The program was established in 2008 in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It was the brainchild of a former senior librarian for software applications at the eThekwini Municipal Library, Betsie Greyling. Greyling worked with McNulty Consulting to translate her conceptual thinking into a practical project. The Ulwazi Program is the first project of its kind in South Africa because it promotes a “democratized collection policy” through the library with the use of basic digital media tools and community participation.

Publisher: University of Southern California
Publication Name: Public Diplomacy Magazine – Winter 2016 Issue

Pioneering home-language learning of mathematics in a digital environment in South Africa

Learning mathematics in a second language has been identified as a major barrier to understanding mathematical concepts and terms for South African learners. The Cambridge Maths Dictionary App (English and isiXhosa) is an easy to use, helpful mobile reference tool for South African learners aged between 10 and 15 years old (Grades 4 to 9). Written in a language that is easily accessible to non-­mother tongue speakers of English, the app  contains over 900 Maths terms and definitions in both English and isiXhosa. Words are explained using examples relevant to the South African context and entries are supported with compelling visual content  to further enhance the explanations and to reinforce the concepts.

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Using digital storytelling to teach English Language skills in South African schools

Education standards at some schools in SubSaharan Africa is poor, with mathematics and literacy highlighted as key problem areas. According to the report Teaching and learning: Achieving quality for all (2014), published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation Education (Unesco), almost half the children in this region had difficulty reading at a basic level.

This issue  is reflected to a large extent in South Africa. The Department of Basic Educations’ National Education Evaluation and Development Unit (NEEDU), in a 2012 report, highlighted the fact that almost three quarters of scholars at schools evaluated in South African could not read at a normal level. This was attributed to a number of reasons, including a lack of reading content available in classrooms. Where schools did have books, these were often locked away in a store-room or only available for use for short periods in the class. Coupled with this is a large percentage of teachers with limited subject-knowledge and a general “lack of understanding … of what it means to be literate, and the specifications of the official curriculum” (NEEDU, 2014:10). The report concludes that programmes are needed to develop literacy and English proficiency and that for “language and the content subjects scholars should write at least 4 times a week” (NEEDU, 2014:11).

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CUP South Africa partners with NGO Worldreader

Interviewed for an article in The Bookseller magazine about a mobile learning project I initiated with Cambridge University Press and the NGO Worldreader.

Article below and source here

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