Update from Brodigan Award Recipient Esi Quagrainie

Esi (’14) has reported on her “Ghana Writing Project” that commenced this summer:

I have had three classes with them so far. It has exceeded all my expectations – the students have been so respectful and extremely eager to learn. They are always very happy to see me and they have done all the reading and writing assignments I have given them, all 30 of them, which is a very good sign. I am not very sure if I mentioned this in the last email I sent but I decided to go for a much older year group; 15 year olds. This group will be taking their B.E.C.E’s next April, which is a Ghanaian wide exam everyone in the public school system takes to place them into Senior High School. I did this in the hopes that we could have deeper conversations about the books we were reading. Unfortunately, this has been far from the case. I have come to realize that their level in reading and writing is not what their teachers had told me. They are very behind their age mates in other parts of the world. We are using Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s, Weep Not, Child and Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. If I had  known their level before I purchased the reading material, I would have most probably gone with other choices. I am making it work, though – I have made several adjustments to my original syllabus; I have incorporated spelling and dictation exercises, a mandatory vocabulary diary for each of them and also I have had two of them lead with me in each class, to improve their public speaking skills.They seem to have really enjoyed the classes I have had with them which is a good sign.

She includes the following photos:

photo 2 photo 1