July 10-12, 2014, the U. S. Embassy organized a workshop in Koudougou for 15 American Language Center (ALC) administrators and English teachers involved in the English Access Microscholarship Program. Access is a special two-year program funded by the U. S. government which provides select secondary school students supplementary English courses and educational activities. The ALC is the U. S. Embassy’s implementing partner for Access in Burkina Faso. The three-day workshop included interactive training and visiting an Access class at the Lycée Provincial de Koudougou. With new Access classes starting in July, it was the perfect moment to review educational, administrative, and student development aspects of the program.
This workshop was a great success. The ALC staff has a new level of confidence and competence to be true ambassadors and effective implementers of this important U. S. government youth outreach English program. Teachers now master all program elements. Cross-cultural awareness, personal development, and commitment to community service are the components which make the Access Program unique and provide its greatest transformative power. Teachers worked in groups to design lessons and activities. In sharing their results, ALC teachers created a resource bank they will use for their new classes. The workshop also strengthened relationships among U. S. Embassy and ALC staff, creating a veritable “Team Access-Burkina Faso!” Our students can only benefit from this vital public-private partnership.