Monday, 3 September 2012

SVP Induction 2 -4 September

For the next three days all the new volunteers (me, Raj, Jennifer, Martin and another volunteer who we haven’t met before called Robert) will be having our induction at the Institute of Education, which is part of the University of Khartoum.  We start at 10am each morning and finish at 2pm.  Lunch is provided.  This is the first year there has been an induction.  It is run by the Director of the Institute of Education, a very committed woman who is extremely keen to improve standards of English in Sudan.  She was able to answer many questions about the school system.  We can expect very large classes of about 50 students.  Schools are single sex.  Students are keen to learn, but very shy.  Standards of English are very low (beginner level).  Students are used to passive learning systems (teacher talk and chalk).  However, it is important when teaching a language to avoid this and get the students to do the talking, which could cause raised eyebrows in the schools.  We were reminded of the importance of lesson plans, and told about strategies for teaching effectively to large classes.  Nationwide, Thursdays are set apart for extra-curricular activities.  This should include an ‘English Club’ which we will be asked to organise.  The English Club aims to get students to talk in a natural way, via discussion topics, games etc.

Raj moved out to his own flat on Sunday evening, so I am now the only resident in the SVP flat.  I am taking the opportunity to play my viola, play my CDs and generally treat the flat as my own rather than worrying about other people.  I am also starting a large spring-clean, which the flat sorely needs.  To my enormous relief the water came back on at 4pm, after a 28 hour gap.

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