EDUCATION FOR PEACE ACTION
English as a foreign language for Third graders at Iraqi schools:
The Iraqi Ministry of Education had a successful experiment of teaching English as a foreign language for Third graders in the province of Al-Muthana last schooling year (2007-2008).
IME had added the program as a new curricula for 3rd grade students at all schools across the country during current schooling year (2008-2009). English as a foreign language program begun to be taught at 5th grade in the past. The education community across the country is pleased for such positive change and development, even some educators and education experts are calling for earlier start with the program as early as 1st grade to begin with. The students are learning to listen, point, make, say words and eventually getting engaged in conversation between each other without leaning writing, reading or grammar skills at this stage of learning. The idea is to enable this group of early age kids to use a foreign language by providing them skills of active methods of communication.
MPT considers this curricula development is very important for the students at this stage of age where kids could discover other's culture through learning other's language, since MPT and IARP are engaged actively in several projects (Letters For Peace for instance) aimed to connecting children of both US and IRAQ.
Teachers, students and their parents are happy for this exciting program, but schools are lacking necessary visual aids such as flashcards, audio system and wall charts that make teacher's job easy and help students to get best results of learning process.
MPTers Mr. Ayad Khoshi, Principal of Al-Hiwariyoon Elementary and his Supervisor Mr. Abdul Khuder Abbas have suggested to MPT the possibility to provide the school with the needed VA by scanning the 42 colored pages of the newly assigned 3rd grade book-Iraq opportunity (please see photo below) and printing 21 large sizes of 2 pages together (1.2m X 80cm) as extremely helpful tool for English teachers.
This educational action was under taken by MPT 6 weeks ago as a response to Mr. Khoshi and Mr. Abbas request to show how VA for leaning a foreign language is important and also urging the officials in charge at the Iraqi Eduction Ministry to make them available for schools next year.
English teacher Mr. Anmar Jasim has reported that the experiment of using the wall charts at 2 of his English classes has improved kids learning up to 95% against 55% before using them.
There are over 16,000 elementary schools in Iraq.
Helping kids learn English will eventually help a whole Iraqi generation to understand American culture and become friends toward other people who speak English as an International language.
Thank you for your time and good work to heal our wounded world.
Muslim Peacemaker Teams