Wednesday, October 8, 2008

BA in English, Communication and BA honours in English

Dear Friends

I am very proud to announce the commencement of the Bachelor of Arts programmes in the Polytechnic of Namibia. We are going to start three new programmes in 2009:

Bachelor of Arts in English, Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Bachelor of Arts Hounours in English.

All three programmes have been developed keeping in mind the needs of the Namibian nation. Our programmes will address some of the issues that have beena cause for concern in the ELT circles in the country.

Pl. register for the courses and encourage aJustify Fullll those who you know will be interested in the programmes to register for the courses this year so that you can start in 2009. These course are specially designed to improve the standards of English in the country both in the field of education and also in the business environment. After doing these courses, graduates will be able to work as teachers, communication managers, copy writers, editors and many other professions where the knowledge of English will add value to the profession.

Pl. get in touch with Mrs. Elisabeth Wittmann, HoD Communication, Polytechnic of Namibia, Windhoek(

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Special Invitation for English Teachers at All Levels
To Attend a Professional Development Workshop on
October 17 and 18, 2008

Come experience the “best practices” English teaching techniques from around the world while networking with your colleagues and having a great time!

NETA (Namibian English Teachers’ Association), formed two years ago, is holding its first professional development workshop in the Northern region. The focus will be on “Shaping the Way We Teach English,” a flexible series of 14 teacher-training modules that deals with all English skills for all levels of students from children to adults. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, with rave reviews so far, this unique series contains natural, unscripted film footage of classes in four diverse countries which is then used to isolate various language teaching skills. Among other topics, the modules deal with language in context, language form, group work, feedback, large classes, and classroom assessment techniques (CAT’s).

A keynote address will be given by Mr. Chief Ankama, former mayor of Oshakati, member of Parliament, and specialist in Namibia’s language policy. Featured presenters will be Mr. Eran Williams, Regional English Language Officer (US) for southern Africa, Dr. Marna Broekhoff, English Language Fellow (US) to Namibia, and Mr. Richard Finch, from Volunteer Services Overseas (UK) and Dr. Sarala Krishnamurthy, Dean of the School of Communication, Polytechnic of Namibia and Chairperson of NETA.

The workshops will be held from 14:00-17:30 and on Saturday from 8:00-16:00 in the main auditorium of Unam’s North Campus in Oshakati. There is no charge for the workshops, but we ask that you pre-register by October 6, so we know how many to expect. Attendance will be limited to the first 75 people who sign up. Please call the Unam Director’s office at 065-22-32-000. You may register at the door.

As a special bonus, the first fifty teachers to sign up will be given the entire “Shaping the Way We Teach English” free of charge. The kit includes three DVD’s, one CD, and a Teacher’s Manual, all of which will be used in the workshops.

As an additional incentive, the first twenty teachers to register will also be offered a free one-year membership in NETA (normally N$100), which will provide you with professional development and networking opportunities, a newsletter forum for expressing your teaching concerns, and access to teaching materials.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008



I have three announcements to make:

1. Five Executive Committee members have stepped down to make room for new blood. I would like to take this opportunity to place on record their contribution to all our activities in the past year and to thank them profusely for the same. The members are: Dr. Tara Elyssa, Ms. Cynthia Murray, Mrs. Elina Ithindi and Mrs. Tracy Grellmann(who has promised to step in whenever we require her to do so).

2. Five new members have joined the Executive Committee. Four of them are from the Secondary Schools and one is from the College of Education.

3. NIED has released a new curriculum for English at Grades 11 and 12 level. Please send your views to NETABLOG.

Teaching Poetry

Dear Friends in NETA

In our last workshop we had distributed a questionnaire to find out about the requirements of teachers in Namibia. We received an overwhelming response in two major areas: Teaching and Studying Poetry, and ICT in Education. We decided that the September workshop would address the first of these issues and therefore we are conducting a workshop on Teaching Poetry.

I am also excited to make another announcement. Our efforts in Namibia has started gaining recognition in different parts of the world. NETA is the subject of an article published on 18th July in The Guardian Weekly which is a British Newspaper.NETABLOG also finds mention in the article. Pl. access the internet to read the article.

We have also become associate members of IATEFL(International Association for Teachers of English as a Foreign
Language) in England. This means that our activities will be reported in the IATEFL Newsletter. Hopefully through this association we will be able to send teachers for training in pedagogy, linguistics and other related areas.

Pl. don't forget the NETA workshop; It is going to be held on the 5th of September in the Auditorium at the Polytechnic of Namibia. Also bring along as many teachers as you would like to.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


The Mini-conference and workshop was a thumping success ! There were nearly 70 participants and many of them from the Secondary and Primary Schools in and around Windhoek.
The Conference kicked off with the Rector of the Polytechnic of Namibia, Dr. Tjama Tjivikua, giving the Welcome Address. He stressed on the importance of imparting proper English to our students. "But it is also necessary to develop our African languages, we should not forget our tradition," he stated. The first Keynote speaker was Dr. Dolores Woolfaardt who has been associated with the Examination System in Namibia for the past twenty years. Quoting figures from trace studies she has conducted over a period of time, she said that students who get a "C" symbol in Grade 10 of IGCSE, generally slip to two grades below their original one in HIGSCE, that is, Standard 12. Therefore, the secondary school teachers have a great reponsibility to prepare students for the tertiary level.

The Deputy Minister of Education, honourable Dr. Becky Ndjoze-Ojo graced the occasion with her presence and in the afternoon she delivered her Key note address where she emphasised the need for networking and encouraged all school teachers to become NETA members. She congratulated NETA for the good work that we are doing.

Over the two days there were four plenary sessions presented by Ms. Cynthia Murray who spoke about Rubrics; Dr. Tara Elyssa who presented on Grammar errors and how to improve students performance; Dr. Marna Broekhoff who explained to teachers the importance of writing and different kinds of writing across the curriculum and Dr. Sarala Krishnamurthy who elaborated on Classroon assessment techniques which could be used by teachers to evaluate themselves for self improvement.
All four plenary sessions were followed by workshops where the teachers had an opportunity to try out whatever had been described in the plenaries.
At the end of the activity, the teachers were asked to evaluate the sessions. There was also a General Body Meeting where new Executive Committee Members were elected.
All the teachers have evaluated the conference and workhsop as "Excellent/very good". The evluation forms also include what the teachers would like NETA to do in future.

We would like to encourage all English Teachers to join NETA.

Thursday, May 29, 2008



Members of the Communication Department at the Polytechnic of Namibia are doing research about the use of English in Namibia. NETA members are invited to join the project, or to provide information and comments. For more information regarding this investigation , please see the NETA blog,


We would like to announce a short story competition for non-professional writers. There are two categories. For the first time writers the length is 2000 word. for others who have published earlier, the length of the story should be 7,500 to 10,000 words. For more information contact Tracy Grellmann (tel. 207-2190) and Sarala Krishnamurthy (tel. 207-2402).


We would like all English teachers to join NETA and participate in our activities. Please tell your colleagues about the Association. We would also welcome any contribution to the newsletter, and are looking for workshop presenters. Please contact Jeanne Hunter, tel. 207-2419.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Hello Friends

I am really excited to announce the Mini-conference and workshop we are holding this weekend at the
Polytechnic of Namibia. The over-arching theme of the Mini-conference is "Language Assessment". Last year
more than 25,000 students failed in Grade 10, which is indeed a cause for concern.Therefore we believe
that the workshops are timely and beneficial to all the participants who are going to attend.

The Presidential Address will be given by Dr.Becky Ndjoze-Ojo, the Deputy minister of Education, who is a
renowned academician in her own right and the Key note speaker is Dr.Dolores Woolfaardt,
who has worked tirelessly for years as the Examinations Officer for the Cambridge IGCSE and HIGSCE exams
in Namibia. They bring a wealth of experience that all teachers of English can draw inspiration from.
The two addresses will be followed by four plenary sessions which deal with different aspects of
assessments. The Plenary sessions will be followed by workshops to provide an opportunity to teachers
to try out whatever has been explained in the plenaries so that they can go back to their classes
having learnt some useful strategies and apply them for successful learning.
I hope you will all be able to participate in this endeavour and make the Mini-conference and Workshop
Best regards