The British Council, in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Skills Development, will be running a two-day workshop on World Words programme, a programme that seeks to put the literature back into language learning.
The main thrust of the workshop is to promote the use of English language and boost the literature industry in the country.
In an interview the British Council Project Manager, Boitumelo Kgangetsile, said, “Our main aim is to present the case for literature as a vital vehicle for language learning and an important starting point in development of communicative language learning strategies.”
The British Council has confirmed that Alan Pulverness, an expert for materials development from the UK, will be the facilitator during this two-day workshop.
“The purpose is to present the case for literature as a vital vehicle for language learning,” she said.
The program has taken on board teacher-trainers, teachers, writers, publishing agencies and students from all colleges of education, both primary and secondary. The colleges include Francistown, Tonota, Serowe, Tlokweng and Molepolole.
“By taking teachers on board, we hope that the skills they will acquire will cascade to the students,” she said.
Kgangetsile said 128 teacher trainees and 39 lecturers from all the colleges of Education under the Department of Literature will participate in the workshop.
Kgangetsile said one of the chief objectives for coming with this project was because of the general realization that was made in students.
“Students are failing examinations because they cannot comprehend questions in their examinations as they have not mastered the Queen’s language, English,” she said.
As part of the learning process, Kgangetsile said “teachers will be trained to write their own books and the best book will be published”. She said the participants will interact with new UK and African writers and will discuss the tools necessary to work with in the classroom.
Through this initiative by the British Council, Botswana will be part of the five countries in Sub Saharan Africa benefiting from this development of a shared strategy to the teaching of literature in Africa.
The British Council has always had a desire to upgrade the lifestyle and learning needs of young African professionals. They have also rolled out the Reading Challenge programme in most of the primary schools in the country to encourage a reading culture in the young ones.