CI-ATEFL is the Cote d’Ivoire Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language. Cote d’Ivoire is in the west of Africa:
The association won the 2016 IATEFL Projects grant to train 40 teachers of English in the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for English learning and teaching, and to set up the Cote d’Ivoire Digital Learning Community (CI-DLC).
The goal of CI-DLC is to initiate training on how to use ICT to design and search for resources; it aims to establish a strong blended community to support teachers countrywide, and create an online library for teachers and students.
The first training session took place in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on December 8th, 2016 at IPNETP, the Institut Pédagogique National de l’Enseignement Technique et Professionnel (National Teacher Education Institute for Technical and Vocational Schools). It is the only institute in charge of training vocational and technical school teachers, which is in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. 40 teachers from the technical and vocational training sector, along with those from General Education (from private and public schools) took part in the workshop. In addition, 7 educational authorities were present, namely Mr Zakaria Berté, Director General of IPNETP; Mr Oi Kakou Kakou, Director of the Continued Professional Development School; Mrs Diallo Sita Kanga, Head of the Centre for English Resources; Mr Bernard Kakou Brakoua, ESP Inspector General and 3 other Inspectors.
The event had two main parts: the official ceremony and the workshop.
The official ceremony
Mr Berte opened the ceremony by welcoming everybody to his institution. His speech was followed by that of Koffi Marcos N’Goran, President of CI-ATEFL. He thanked IATEFL for funding the workshop, Mr Berte for the support of his institution, and the inspectors and participants for their invaluable contribution to the success of the event. He terminated his speech by introducing CI-ATEFL, which was created in 2013 to help connect and develop English Language Teachers in Cote d’Ivoire, and fill a gap between teachers of English in Cote d’Ivoire and the international ELT community. He continued by presenting the project of setting up CI-DLC as a tool to support teachers of English, and encouraging them to get involved to aid their development and that of English teaching and learning in Cote d’Ivoire.
The official ceremony was closed by Gary Motteram, from Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester, UK. Through a Skype conversation, he congratulated CI-ATEFL and wished the workshop to be successful, and the project sustainable.
The aim of the workshop was to train participants to act efficiently in the project. It was split into two sessions.
Aubin Adi, the facilitator, started by introducing the Digital Learning Community by providing answers to the following questions:
- What is a community?
- What is a community of practice?
- Why is it fundamental to Cote d’Ivoire teachers of English to form a community?
This presentation provided the participants with the background information to help understand the relevance of the project and the benefits for teachers, students and the system of education.
The workshop did not emphasize using Microsoft Office even though support was given to some participants as difficulties occurred. In addition, participants were provided with the fundamentals of the internet and the world wide web.
They included how to:
- use a browser and search engines,
- create membership on collaboration websites (Microsoft and Google Cloud), etc.
- use social media,
- transfer files from/to a local device like a computer, tablet or smartphone,
- handle multimedia files (images, audio, video).
As a case study, participants were asked to use web resources (video, text, pictures, and sounds), and prepare a short lesson.
This took place after lunch. Participants were shown how to get started with CI-DLC. This session lasted about 2 hours.
In this workshop, Aubin explained the tasks of the participants in CI-DLC, as well as the knowledge and necessary information they need to play an effective role in CI-DLC. The session integrated all the previous abilities.
- Participants were also taught how to:
- practice using CI-DLC Community Platforms,
- implement CI-DLC procedures,
- handle files on CI-DLC community platforms,
- apply collaboration tips and best practices.
As a case study, participants were asked to share their prepared lessons in the previous session to CI-DLC with their groups. Group members provided feedback, integrated the feedback into their work and shared their work on the CI-DLC community site and Facebook group.
End of the workshop
The workshop ended with the sharing of useful information and an insight into IATEFL.
The President of CI-ATEFL, Koffi Marcos N’Goran presented IATEFL to the participants (20 of them were members already). He finished his presentation by giving out brochures about the Association. Questions which followed were about the registration fee, scholarships, and the IATEFL annual conference and how to be involved in the international online events.
Adi, the facilitator, advised the participants who have not yet joined the community to register. He also asked them to apply the acquired knowledge to their teaching situation, and to provide feedback by the end of December 18th, 2016.
The second part of the project
The second part of the project was another success: it took place on April 28th, 2017, at IPNETP, with the institutional support of the Minister of Technical and Vocational training and the Director General of IPNET. The event was again split into two parts: the official ceremony and the workshop.
This time, the workshop was an opportunity to share experiences of the use of the knowledge they acquired during the first training in their different schools. These included their successes and challenges. The follow-up session was an opportunity for the facilitator to address confusing points related to the first training. In addition, he introduced new tips on how to use ICT to share material online, prepare lessons, teach, and use the new WhatsApp group. He closed the session by encouraging each participant to keep up the good work, cascade their knowledge to their colleagues once back to their schools, and continue online interaction. Moreover, another appointment was made for the 2017-2018 academic year with the hope of finding financial support…. Fingers crossed.
Koffi Marcos N’Goran graduated from the English Department of Abidjan University with a BA. Then, he obtained the Postgraduate diploma in teaching English as a foreign language, with honors, from the Institut Pédagogique National de l’Enseignement Technique et Professionnel (National Teacher Education Institute for Technical and Vocational schools – IPNEPT). He taught English for specific purposes to a diverse public including teenagers, adults, and professionals for about 16 years.
He won a fully-paid Frank Bell Scholarship to participate in the annual IATEFL (International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language) Conference in Glasgow in 2012. Marcos was awarded a Conference Grant from the British Council in Senegal, and this time he took part in the annual IATEFL Conference in Liverpool (April 2013) where he also presented a paper at the ESP [English for Specific Purposes] SIG’s (Special Interest Group’s) Pre-Conference Event (PCE). In 2014, He took part in IATEFL conference in Harrogate, UK where he presented the experience of Cote d’Ivoire in the use of technology for English learning. In 2015 and 2016, he participated in the Hornby School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Marcos has become more internationally involved in ELT and ESP since 2011, and has embarked on a project to sustain an ESP Resource Centre for local ELT and ESP teacher across various educational sectors. The IATEFL HO granted Marcos a free three-year membership in 2012 in the hope that he becomes a catalyst for setting up a teachers’ association in Cote D’Ivoire – a task which he completed with his Ivorian colleagues in 2013. CI-ATEFL (Cote d’Ivoire Association of Teachers of English a Foreign Language), the new teachers association, an affiliate of IATEFL, is now formally registered in Cote D’Ivoire.
Marcos served from 2014 to 2016 as the head of internship department at the Ministry Employment, Technical and Vocation Training. Currently, though he is the Studies Officer of the Minister of Employment and Social Protection, he is still engaged in teachers’ development projects; the ongoing one is related to a country wide English Teacher professional development with the support of an English Language Fellow, a US Department of States Program.