When I founded English for Africa, I had something more in mind than opening another CELTA center. Of course, I had traveled enough, and taught enough to know how important high quality language education can be, and I wanted to help provide one to the people of Morocco, Africa, and other parts of the world. Training teachers, quite obviously, has a vital role to play in achieving this aim.
But it certainly isn’t enough, especially when it comes to the teaching of English as a foreign language, which, for all intents and purposes, has become Africa’s lingua franca. As time goes on, statistically, it will become less and likely that the people we speak to in English will be British or American. As African integration continues, in particular with the African Free Trade Agreement coming into force in just a few days, it is more and more likely that the people we speak to in English will, in fact, be African.
As such, I believe it is important for Africa to start to lay claim to the English language as its own. This is, of course, a multi-faceted journey that will inevitably call to contribution a number of different actors and domains. Certainly, though, an essential aspect of this transformation is the materials used to teach English in our classrooms.
So long as the lesson materials we are using in our EFL classrooms is of foreign origin, English will remain a “foreign” language. We need lesson materials that are adapted to our context, to our culture, and to our history, so that the English we are learning in the classroom truly becomes African English.
This is why English for Africa is proud to take a small and modest step in this direction by launching its English for Morocco lesson series. This will be a series of free lesson plans and materials, ready to use, for EFL teachers in Morocco (or elsewhere). What sets them apart is that they deal with issues that pertain directly to Moroccan learners, so that the language they are learning in the classroom will be “Moroccan” English.
Each new lesson will be posted on our website, and made available for download from a Google Drive. Furthermore, we will happily take contributions from other teachers to share their Morocco-centric EFL lesson plans and materials, so long as they meet certain standards. Lessons designed directly by English for Africa will be clearly signaled as suchand stored in a separate folder on the Google Drive.
The first installment, “Going to the Hammam,” will be posted in the next few hours.
It is our ambition that English for Morocco will be followed up by English for Egypt, English for Gambia, English for Cote d’Ivoire and collections for other countries around Africa.
Or our name isn’t English for Africa.