Teaching English in Ethiopia: Alumna Serves as Fellow in Dept. of State Program

Hannah Murphy with a group of graduate students after a workshop on paraphrasing.

Hannah Murphy with a group of graduate students after a workshop on paraphrasing.

Western Illinois University News-15 hours ago

It isn’t unusual for Hannah Murphy to arrive at work and find that her classroom or work building has no power. While in some parts of the world this impediment might be an excuse to delay or cancel class, for Murphy—who is among the dedicated U.S. educators teaching abroad in the English Language (EL) Fellow Program funded by the U.S. Department of State—the English teaching experience, and her students are worth the uncertainties each day may bring. “My Fellowship is in Mekelle, Ethiopia, one of the larger cities in the country, located about 500 miles north of the capital, Addis Ababa. I work in the English department at Mekelle University. Right now I have an incredible group of Year 1 students, who are always fun and ready to participate in classroom activities,” Murphy explained. “While there are always surprises and new experiences, a typical workday involves a somewhat steady routine….While her first 10-month Fellowship is coming to an end this summer, Murphy will continue to share her teaching talents in Ethiopia. She has officially accepted a renewal offer for a second 10-month Fellowship in Arba Minch, Ethiopia. “As cheesy as it sounds, I immediately fell in love with Ethiopia. Everyone I met upon arrival was incredibly generous and wanted to make sure I felt safe and was happy in my new setting. Of course there was an adjustment period to my new life here: culturally, linguistically and professionally. I have local friends who helped me navigate cultural differences, as well as who taught me useful phrases in Tigrinya, the local language,” she said.

Some of Murphy's students in their open-air classroom.

Some of Murphy’s students in their open-air classroom.

የአሜሪካዊቷ እንግሊዝኛ አስተማሪ ተሞክሮ በኢትዮጵያ

የዌስተርን ኢሊኖይ ዩኒቨርስቲ ዜና

ለሐና መርፊ በምታስተምርበት ክፍል ወይም ህንጻ ውስጥ መብራት አለመኖሩን ስትገነዘብ ክስተቱን እንግዳ ነገር አድርጋ አታየውም፡፡ በሌላው የዓለማችን ክፍል ቢሆን ኖሮ፣ ለመምህራን ከትምህርት ገበታ ላይ ላለመገኘት ይህ ዓይነተኛ ምክንያት ይሆን ነበር፡፡ ነገር ግን በአሜሪካ ውጭ ጉዳይ መሥሪያ ቤት በሚደገፈው በውጭ ሀገራት የሚያስተምሩ የእንግሊዝኛ ቋንቋ መምህራን መርሀ ግብር ሥር በመሰማራት በሰሜን ኢትዮጵያ እንግሊዝኛ የምታስተምረው መምህርት ሐናና ተማሪዎቿ በያንዳንዱ ቀን በሚገጥማቸውና እርግጠኛ በማይሆኑበት ሁኔታ ውስጥ መሆን አልበገራቸውም፡፡”ተመድቤ የማስተምረው መቀሌ ነው፡፡ መቀሌ ኢትዮጵያ ካሏት ትላልቅ ከተሞች አንዷ ሰትሆን፣ የሀገሪቱ ዋና ከተማ ከሆነችው ከአዲስ አበባ 500 ኪ.ሜ ርቀት ላይ ትገኛለች፡፡ በመቀሌ ዩኒቨርሲቲ የእንግሊዝኛ ትምህርት ክፍል ባልደረባ ስሆን፤ በአሁኑ ጊዜ እፁብ ድንቅ የሆኑ፣እጅግ ተግባቢና ከፍተኛ የሆነ የመማር ጉጉት ያላቸው የመጀመሪያ ዓመት ተማሪዎችን አስተምራለሁ” ስትል ትገልጻለች መምህርት ሐና፡፡ “ሁሌም ያልተጠበቁና አዳዲስ ነገሮች ቢያጋጥሙም፣በሥራ ቀናት ያሉ ሁኔታዎች ብዙም በነዚህ ክስተቶች የተሞሉ አይደሉም” የምትለው ሐና በመቀሌ የሚኖራት የ10 ወራት ቆይታ በቅርቡ ይጠናቀቃል፡፡ ይሁንና ሐና ለቀጣይ 10 ወራት በአርባ ምንጭ ዩኒቨርሲቲ ተመሳሳይ አገልግሎት ለመስጠት የቀረበላትን ግብዣ ስለተቀበለች ወደዛው ትዛወራለች፡፡ “ምናልባትም ለማመን በሚቸገር መልኩ ከኢትዮጵያ ፍቅር የያዘኝ ገና እንደ መጣሁ ነው፡፡ ያገኘኋቸው ሰዎች በሙሉ እንግድነት እንዳይሰማኝና ደስተኛ እንድሆን፤እንዲሁም አንዳችም ጉዳት እንዳይደርስብኝ ተባብረውኛል፤በርግጥ በባህል፣በቋንቋም ሆነ በሙያ ረገድ ራሴን እንዳዲስ መቃኘት ነበረብኝ፡፡ ከባህል ልዩነት የተነሣ የሚያጋጥሙ ችግሮችን ማሸነፍ እችል ዘንድ የረዱኝና የክልሉ መግባቢያ ቋንቋ የሆነውን አንዳንድ የትግርኛ አባባሎችን ያስተማሩኝ ጓደኞችም አፍርቻለሁ” ትላለች መምህርቷ፡፡

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