AMERICAN CENTER ABIDJAN MOOCS
An innovative Training
Since September 2017, the American Center Abidjan organized his Leadership and English training included the moocs option in order to impact positively personal building and learner’s skills through Offline and Online spaces experiences.
Every year, the USA Embassy has free courses in Leadership and English at the American Center room. A fundamental program to share American culture and help learners to get more knowledge and skills. But this year 2017, the program took a new tool, moocs , to give the access of these courses to every persons unable to follow the courses in presence. Thank to this innovation, lot of learners as me got the opportunity to have a nice experience of learning.
In fact, I registered to the Beginner English Online Training as I did not have enough time to be in presence all Monday afternoon at the Embassy. The advantage of online class is that the learner can consult easily the courses supports (video, document, link…) and send his assignments on the platform . So, the online classroom permitted to surf on other site for getting more resources about the courses and improve my skills by testing my level frequently. During my beginner English training, I met the Classmates only on the December 22nd 2017, to take evaluation in presence at the Embassy. Quickly, my online work revealed great skills and I succeed easily. Why? Because there were lot of interactions with instructors during online classroom and many exercises posted to increase knowledge. The assignments were very rich, motivating and helped to improve my level in grammar, Writing, listening and oral.
The second learning step began in January 2018 and concerned the intermediate English Training. This is a very important level to increase the English fluency and I had the choice between presence and online class. But, the online classroom was the best way because I travelled for studying in my University based in Bouake, a city situated far around 380 Km from Abidjan. In this circumstance, the online classroom was my only mean to follow the course and make my assignments. This experience showed me that the distance is not an obstacle when it is possible to be connected online. After 10 weeks, I returned in Abidjan to finish my training in presence at the Embassy. After the Intermediate level evaluation, I passed. But, my results were under my personal goal. I didn’t follow enough courses in presence. So, I lost many exercises and explanation. This step revealed that the online classroom can be limited in the case of some specific exercises as native English oral skills. After the intermediate English results, I decided to be always in presence and try to improve my English skills in contact with the instructors by asking lot of question and making personal research to succeed with a good mark. For example, I downloaded many TED video from YouTube, try to imitate the instructor pronunciation, taught English for free to members of my community and so on.
The graduation day, my classmates and I began the Advanced English Training in April 2018 with Madam Lia Hollander as instructor. In comparison with beginner and intermediate training, the advanced class is an occasion develop listening and speaking in the case of an interaction with native American speaker. Sincerely, it has been an opportunity to get American accent, culture and a new mindset about our role to develop our communities by getting and sharing experiences. In the introducing video, “Grit”. Angela Duckworth taught us the value of passion, hard work in perseverance to overcome all the obstacles of learning and life. Although we thank that IQ was the main key to succeed, Angela explain that the “Grit” is better than IQ. This Video permitted to change our mindset about the key of succeed. Personally, this introducing video meant that I was at the right place to learn and get new skills.
Then, we studied oral points (to increase our accent), listening, book report. This last activity consisted to read a book and write a report based on a file to have a presentation during the class. For me, it was the best occasion to make an online assignment as the report model paper was posted on the platform. My work was based on the “The Perks of being a wallflower”, a very interesting American book about an introvert teenage called “Charlie”. Personally, I took this opportunity to shine and have a conversation in English with my classmates and the instructors. During my presentation, I was nervous in the beginning, but it become very natural for me to speak English after some minutes!!! Of course, to learn English, this exercise has been a very great occasion to overcome my own trouble and be focused on my work, therefore my pronunciation mistakes as foreigner Speaker. It has been the best experience to get confidence in my ability to speak English without fear (I advise you to try this too). Finally, all the classmates who took the evaluation succeed and got the advanced English certificate in Juliet 2018. Congratulation!!! We were a wonderful team and after the graduation, we continue to improve our skills by conversation and interaction on what’s up.
This article, is a personal testimony to encourage all English learners and prove the importance of moocs in the American Center Abidjan Training. Thank you for his program organized by the American Center Abidjan. We have a great acknowledgement to all our instructors: Madam Rouamba, Sir Assamoi, Sir Yao, Madam Angoran and colleagues. Your engagement throw these courses made us better persons, able to impact positively our society during and after training.
Written by MICHEL GOUGOU