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.


fohne said...

Congratulations to NETA for your work. I found a successful ESL program named English Now! Here is a description for your info that might be helpful. This not a sales pitch but rather a look at effective programs: English Now! A/B is an English as a Second Language (ESL)/English Language Development Program designed for English Language Learners (ELLs) at language proficiency levels 1 (beginning) to 4 (early advanced) in Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2, and for ELLs at language proficiency levels 1 (beginning) and 2 (early intermediate) in Grades 3 to 12.

The goal of English Now! A/B is to increase the student’s language proficiency by a minimum of one level after 150 days of instruction.

English Now! A/B has a full range of teacher and student materials designed for ease of use and minimum teacher training. The teacher’s materials include teacher’s guides, a strategy booklet, game kits, presentation books, big books, story books with text, CD-ROMs, a phonemic awareness and pronunciation teacher’s guide, assessment directions and key guide, and sticky sentence strips. Student materials include student books, an assessment book, wordless story books, vocabulary card boxes, and home-school connection folders.

English Now! A/B is developed in five grade categories: Kindergarten, Grade 1, Grade 2, Upper Elementary, and Secondary (which can be used as an Adult Education ESL program). In all grade categories the program consists of 135 ESL/ELD lessons and 15 phonemic awareness and pronunciation lessons.

The day program is complemented by English Now! A/B Intervention, designed for short-term intervention (summer school, after school tutorials, year round intersession).

English Now! A/B approaches second language acquisition and learning using Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT) and six categories of second language strategies. The primary sources of curriculum are English Language Development Standards and themes based on categories of high-use vocabulary. Form is determined by function and is taught both explicitly and implicitly.

To facilitate instruction, the teacher’s guide identifies the standards assessed and addressed in each lesson, an easy-to-follow TBLT lesson sequence, communicative tasks, differentiation using second language strategies, assessment opportunities, and extension assignments for guided and independent practice.

English Now! A/B Assessment consists of a pretest, a progress test, and a posttest designed for administration at the beginning of the school year, at midyear, and at the end of the school year. Assessment results yield proficiency levels in listening, reading, speaking, and writing, and a composite language proficiency level.

Matopo Primary School Zimbabwe said...

Congratulations to all of you for a fantastic effort.
I am a member of a Teachers Association in Switzerland which currently has a project in Zimbabwe. If you're interested, have a look at
best wishes
Cindy Hauert

Sarala Krishnamurthy said...

Thank you
Much appreciated. I am sending this information to all members of NETA with Email ids.

Dr. Sarala Krishnamurthy said...

Thank you Fohne.