Friday, 3 March 2017

A, B, C as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Abdoul leads a revision session of the alphabet

We kicked off our fifth French lesson this week with a packed class of eager students from our partner organisations. After squeezing in 18 of our members and a variety of assisitive aids including half a dozen modified wheelchairs we all outlined the lesson objectives of the day, with our two British volunteers delivering their best French accents!

French classes were in high demand from our partner associations, with Moore being the predominant language amongst our members. Unfortunately, many people in Burkina Faso living with a disability miss out on a formal education, meaning that some are illiterate in the national language of French. This can often mean that people living with disabilities face limited job prospects and have difficulties in pursuing a career.

As a new project, delivering our first few French classes has not been without its challenges, however this has given our volunteers the chance to get creative! Faced with no blackboard, no exercise books and a lack of pens initially, we improvised to the best of our abilities. We fashioned our own blackboard out of A3 paper and masking tape and had a quick whip round among the volunteers before each lesson for spare pens and paper. 

Heather showing off her best French accent for the class

Our first exercise got off to a laughing start as the class heard our Scottish Volunteer's best French accent whilst reciting the alphabet for the class to repeat as part of our revision. The class were quick to re-grasp the pronunciations that they had learned previously and we soon moved on to practice reading some basic words with the help of some newly bought textbooks. We were highly impressed by the ease at which our class could complete the first few exercises and it was reassuring to know that all of our alphabet practice hadn't fallen on deaf ears! No class would be complete without homework and we ensured our class didn't miss out with Callum's homemade exercises! We are looking forward to continuing our work with the associations and to see the continuous progress that we are confident our class will make over the upcoming weeks!

Written by Callum Kennedy and Heather Galbraith 

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