The Graham Smith / Eastbourne School of English scholarship was set up in 2013 in memory of a well-loved, long-serving ESOE teacher. Each year a scholarship winner is supported to attend the Annual IATEFL conference in the UK. This year, to help celebrate the 50th IATEFL Annual Conference taking place in Birmingham, Eastbourne School of English has awarded two scholarships to deserving teachers.
Chosen from more than 60 applicants, the 2016 winners of the Graham Smith / Eastbourne School of English scholarships, are Meryiam Aftab from Pakistan and Mohamed Bouri from Morocco. Meryiam says “I would like to say thanks to you and Eastbourne School of English for selecting me as the winner of this scholarship”.
And Mohamed says: “I can't tell you how happy I am to hear the wonderful news that I won the Eastbourne School of English scholarship. It really means a lot for me and, for sure, will open many doors and bridges for me to grow professionally and personally”.
Meryiam is a primary school teacher in Pakistan, where she has plenty of challenges in her work. Her dream is to lessen the barriers caused by students’ lack of motivation, and to help her students avoid translation as far as she can. Meryiam has given training workshops to teachers and is looking forward to taking what she learns at the IATEFL Conference in Birmingham back to her colleagues in Pakistan. She says “I will give presentation using PowerPoint, including excerpts from videos from the conference (Birmingham Online), and will refer to particular points from talks / workshops which I have found particularly inspiring. I also plan to offer workshops in other schools, for example, to teachers in the school where I myself studied. I also intend to write an article for a local teacher association newsletter (SPELT) to disseminate the knowledge gained far and wide. Relevant material from the conference will be incorporated into my ongoing action research also”.
Mohamed is a a teacher at a middle school in Morocco, where he is also faced by many challenges in his work. His dream is to move towards finding solutions to the following challenges:
- addressing issues related to teaching and managing overcrowded classrooms
- dealing with gender differences in learning foreign languages, especially how to effectively meet boys' and girls' learning interests separately without destroying the classroom community
- skillfully managing lessons that have limited resources and materials
- considering equity and equality issues regrdaing having access to quality learning
Mohamed is planning to “build a professional portfolio that outlines some of the best practices of teachers who face similar challenges. The portfolio will be shared throughout different platforms, including professional social networks such as LinkedIn. The outcomes can also be made available for other teachers and professionals at conferences and teachers meetings as part of in-service training. This will take the form of sound poster sessions, workshops and presentations.”
Mohamed told us “I am thrilled at the opportunity of attending the Birmingham conference to extend as a person and professional. I believe that it will affect change in my teaching context by benefiting from teachers’ and experts’ experiences in the domain of English language teaching, especially with focus on solving issues related to crowdedness and limited resources.”
Jenny Johnson, Academic Manager at Eastbourne School of English is looking forward to meeting Meryiam and Mohamed a bit later this year in Birmingham at the 50th Conference..