Megan wants every student at CRP to love learning English.
The TEFL coordinator recognizes that students who enjoy class are more likely to continue their studies, which is why she recently designed a new engaging curriculum.
“I’m excited about it,” she said. “I really hope the students will like it and I hope that it will be useful.”
Among the changes: Creating six new textbooks, adding more interactive activities and providing extra guidance for first-time teachers.
“I feel that a lot of English textbooks are very westernized,” said Megan, explaining that the books often reference Western culture or use Western names and images. “I’ve worked a lot with textbooks as an English teacher and I just don’t always find them as useful as they could be.”
But the new texts incorporate Middle Eastern culture, which she hopes will be more interesting for CRP’s students.
As for the interactive parts of the program, Megan said she designed a variety of activities that involve pair work or the entire class so no individual student will feel self-conscious. Explaining that CRP’s beneficiaries are recovering from trauma, she said it was important to create a curriculum that doesn’t make anyone feel anxious.
“We don’t want people to be nervous about learning a new language,” she said. “We don’t want to put anyone on the spot.”
Additionally, Megan mixed up the activities to help all types of learners — visual, auditory and kinesthetic — get the most out of class. CRP’s English teachers should also benefit from the updated curriculum, as it includes more instructions to help guide those who are new to teaching.
Megan hopes the new program will get beneficiaries excited about learning. CRP teaches about 200 students per semester, and she wants them all to progress with their studies. Learning English can expand educational and employment opportunities, she explained, and it often makes life easier for refugees.
“Many people want to learn English because they want to be resettled,” Megan said. “But I think it’s also crucial because it’s going to open-up your world when you can communicate with people from different countries. And when you’re advocating for your own rights and going through the resettlement process, often you’re dealing with an international audience.”
Although Megan’s enjoyed her time with CRP, she’s moving on to a new adventure this week. But she’s confident that her replacement, Haneen, will be an amazing new TEFL coordinator.
“Haneen has been a huge light in my life these past months,” she said. “I watched her grow from being a student in the English program, to a volunteer English teacher, then the English program intern, and now the TEFL Coordinator. Watching the professional development of a great human being and friend has definitely been the highlight of my time at CRP.”