UB Conducts Second Summer Institute for African Educators

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: June 11, 2001

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- For the second consecutive year, the English Language Institute (ELI) at the University at Buffalo is conducting a summer institute for educators from sub-Saharan countries designed to strengthen English-as-a-Foreign Language (EFL) programs in secondary schools in the participants' home countries.

Sixteen educators from Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal and Togo are taking part in the six-week program, which began June 4 and will run through July 15.

Janice A. Nersinger, ELI director of overseas and customized programs, is program coordinator.

Funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the U.S. State Department, the institute attempts to enhance participants' management and organizational skills; familiarize them with e-mail and the Internet; broaden their understanding of U.S. institutions and culture, and assist them in identifying, analyzing and solving the practical problems in administering EFL programs in their home countries.

The participants, which include high school principals and headmasters, inspectors of secondary-education systems, ministry of education officials, directors of English-language programs, and regional teacher advisors and teacher trainers, undertake 30 hours per week of instructional activity, including seminars, workshops, lectures, computer classes, field trips and visits to local schools and language institutes.

Among the topics being addressed in the coursework are managing teaching staff, student development, managing resources and computer skills for professional networking and development.

Instruction is provided by faculty members from the ELI and the UB departments of Learning and Instruction, and Educational Leadership and Policy, and the program in American Studies, as well as by staff from the Office of the Vice Provost for International Education.

In addition to the classwork, the African educators will tour Buffalo's cultural and historic landmarks, take part in the Allentown Arts Festival, visit Niagara Falls, explore a Native American reservation and be hosted for a meal by local families.

The program also will include trips to New York City and Washington, D.C., for tours of cultural and educational sites. While in Washington, the educators will visit the Department of State, where they will take part in a symposium on EFL administration in Africa organized by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and attended by bureau officials and EFL experts.