U. S. English Teacher gets Burkinabe Students, Professionals Speaking English

English teacher Alexis Cherewka noticed students at her host institution, Université Aube Nouvelle (U-AUBEN), and professionals training at the American Language Center (ALC) were exceling in reading and writing English and most were grammar gurus.  However, they felt having a conversation was much more challenging.  In spite of mastering many aspects of the English language, many Burkinabe don’t get enough opportunities in or outside class to speak English.  To meet this challenge, Ms. Cherewka, teaching at U-AUBEN on the U. S. government English Fellow program, organized a free, weekly conversation group at the ALC.  Participants engage in activities like playing games, to hone their speaking skills in a relaxed, fun atmosphere.  This is what many believe is helping them overcome their inhibitions.  The conversation sessions reinforce classroom learning, but the sessions are informal and no grades are given, allowing participants to relax and speak freely.  This initiative is important for the U. S. Embassy because it is helping Burkinabe students and professionals use their English as a tool of communication.  This will open many study, exchange, and work opportunities to them.