Teaching in a Foreign Language

Imagine sitting down to take an exam that will determine your future, only to find it’s in a different language. This is the stuff of nightmares for most people. However, for students in Rwanda, it’s actually a common realityone that has devastating implications for their future opportunities.

In recent years, the Rwandan education system changed from teaching older grades in Kinyarwanda to instructing them in English. As this decision was made so rapidly, plenty of teachers were unable to learn this new language in time. In the face of this tough situation, many teachers have continued their lessons as they were beforein Kinyarwanda. This one decision leaves students thoroughly unprepared to take their national exams in English. At the end of primary school, these exams determine if the child graduates to secondary school, or if their education is finished before they’ve even become a teenager. So when a kid comes up against a test that is in a language they’re entirely unfamiliar with, it doesn’t just affect them in the present, it affects their entire future—all their dreams and endless possibilities—as well.

Teacher Eugénie at Bweramvura, a school in Wellspring’s School Development Program, saw the devastation this caused amongst her students. She watched as students were forced to drop out or were sent to poorly performing secondary schools due to their low grades on the national exams. Eugénie wasn’t sure how to tackle this problem, as she did not know English, but she vowed to make a change. She sought out Wellspring trainers, who frequently visit Bweramvura to offer lesson feedback and conduct training modules that help the teachers provide a quality education to their students. They encouraged her goal and worked with Eugénie to create a plan that would work for her. As Eugenie learned English, our trainers frequently met with her to offer encouragement and help her stay the course.

Now, Eugénie has transformed her classroom. With her initiative and Wellspring’s support, she has gained the confidence and skills to teach her lessons in English. Eugénie utilizes all of Wellspring’s training techniques, such as active participation and teaching aids. She facilitates group discussions with her students in English. These techniques ensure students increase their fluency and understand necessary vocabulary and concepts for their exams. Now, students no longer have to be afraid of their exams. They have a teacher who is working to prepare them for everything they will encounter on the test. Eugénie is setting her students up for success in the future. She is empowering them with an education that treats them with dignity and worth, and matches their God-given potential.

Here at Wellspring, we believe in helping people find their own unique solutions to their community’s issues. Our trainers work with teachers like Eugénie to uncover strategies that will promote ownership and sustainability in the pursuit of quality education for all children. But we can’t do this without your support. Your generosity allows us to send our trainers into schools and help teachers become the best educators they can be. Through this, you are having a direct impact on the lives and futures of children across Rwanda. Will you partner with us today as we seek to bring quality education to every child?