Saturday, August 30, 2008

Our Working Situation

During the last twenty years Sudan has been going through a process of Arabization of all public education starting from primary and secondary schools. In 1990 a governmental decree made Arabic the medium of instruction in Higher Education. English language became just a subject not a medium of instruction. The implementation of Arabic language as a medium of instruction led to a sharp drop in the level of competency in English language in the institutes of higher education.
Since 2002 the whole situation changed, oil was discovered in some parts of the country which brought an influx of foreign investment, a peace treaty was signed with the south (after 45 years of civil war ) stating that English is no longer a foreign language but a second language as it was a first language of in the south of the country. Globally English has gained a huge importance and it became the number one language of the world. For these reasons a great need for English language competency arose in Sudan.
But with this great need for English our working situation did not change. We still have classes of over 200 meeting for 2 hours per week with a total of 90 hours. (45 general English and 45 ESP). Teachers are left to prepare their own materials. No up-to-date libraries available. No teaching aids available. So the only thing we can do is to encourage our students to be autonomous learners. We cannot teach them English but we can show them how to learn English. And by the way the only positive thing in is that 99% of the student are motivated they know when they graduate they will not find a job or continue their post graduate education unless they know English.

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