Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)
“Target communities are empowered through inclusive and diverse educational initiatives and increased opportunities to be engaged in practical, sustainable interventions”
Soft Power Education Strategic Objective One
One of the country’s official languages, English is a vital skill to learn in Uganda. It is often used as a common language between different tribes, many businesses operate using English, and the latter primary school years (P4 to P7) are taught in English.
Research has shown that 64% of mothers in Uganda have a primary education or below, while 24% of mothers have no education at all. It also points to a relationship between mothers’ and their children’s literacy – half of children whose mothers can read a P2 level story can read the story, whereas only 36% of children who mothers cannot read the story can it themselves (Twaweza, 2015).
SPE’s research has also shown that women themselves want to learn to speak English for a number of reasons including:
- To help their children with school work/activities.
- To be able to communicate with visitors to their village.
- To help them find a job.
- To have a feeling of achievement.
Our TEFL programme was started by a committed volunteer, Jenny Hickman, in 2008 and courses have run every year since then except one. She has worked with women from a number of different communities across the Jinja district with group sizes between 30 and 80 students, and an age range of 18 to 65 years.
The TEFL lessons enable these women, some of whom have never been to school, the learn in an environment of fun and inclusion and to achieve a feeling of self-worth and confidence. The TEFL lessons are about speaking conversational English, not learning grammar.
They also give women an opportunity to meet socially, away from their duties and tasks and away from the everyday pressures of life. It gives them an avenue to meet, share experiences and form friendships.
“I enjoyed the lessons and learnt a lot of new words and their meanings. I feel more confident when I speak English”
Prossy, 54 years old, 2017 TEFL graduate
Our 2017 TEFL course was held at Bufuula Primary School. There were 49 regular attendees, with an age range of 20-65 years (average age of 41 years). Ten women had never attended school before, six were educated to Senior 1 or 2, and the remaining women had only a very basic education to Primary 2 or 3. Many of the women attending the course had previously attended Bufuula Primary School.
Soft Power Education’s TEFL courses are volunteer-led, and we are always on the look out for training TEFL teachers to run courses here in Uganda. We ask for a minimum of 3 months commitment. Contact us for more information.