Thirty-three English educators from eight regions of Madagascar learned how to pair in-persons workshops with online courses to dramatically increase the effectiveness and completion rates of online courses as part of a U.S. Embassy-sponsored three-day workshop in Antananarivo from May 5-7. Organized by the non-profit organization Association Ndeha Hianatra Izahay, the intensive Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) Camp Facilitator Training equipped experienced English teaching with the knowledge of American English MOOCs and the hands-on tools and best practices to run effective in-person “MOOC Camps.”
U.S. Government offers a wide range of free American English MOOCs for English educators and learners through its americanenglish.state.gov website. These courses offer a free and easily accessible opportunity for English language learners and teachers to develop their English skills and advance in their English teaching methods. But globally only roughly 10% of learners typically complete online courses. When paired with well-facilitated in-person “MOOC Camps,” however, U.S. Government-trained facilitators can drive completion rates for these online courses over 90%. The workshop featured in-person and virtual sessions by American and Malagasy English teaching experts, including three American educators currently working in Madagascar on U.S. Government-sponsored exchange programs.
After this three-day training, the participants will lead MOOC camps in their regions that will benefit more than 330 English educators across the country. Not only are the MOOC Camps a low-cost, high-impact way to introduce research-based teaching methods and materials for English language teaching, but they also bring educators together in a professional community of practice that will help teachers continue to grow their professional skills.
Since 2017, the U.S. Government has worked like “mpirahalahy mianala” with the Government of Madagascar and Malagasy educators to improve the teaching and learning of English in Madagascar. This initiative is shaped by the belief that stronger English language skills can open a wide range of local and global opportunities for Malagasy students and professionals wishing to pursue their studies and advance their careers.
In 2017, the U.S. Embassy collaborated with the Ministry of National Education to revise the national English language curriculum at the high school level. The U.S. Government has also provided high quality professional training to more than 2,700 English educators around Madagascar, helping improve their methods and resources for teaching English at the high school and university levels, as well as at English clubs and other educational forums.