ELT in underserved contexts: empowering young learners through life skills
with Sameh Marzouki
In a dramatically changing world, the gap between privileged schools and underserved ones is expanding to the point where the process of education and its outcomes are incomparable. My talk is going to unpack those divides, starting from the conditions of schools and the materials used, to the methods and strategies adopted to keep learners engaged and motivated. Using authentic photos and videos from my 15 years of experience in low-resource contexts, I’ll demonstrate how we collaboratively transformed underserved schools in deplorable conditions into well-equipped, comfortable spaces where learning could occur in a non-threatening environment and where a quality education could motivate learners to acquire a wide range of life skills and implement them in different contexts. I’ll specifically focus on how teaching life skills improves the well-being of underprivileged children and promotes a positive mindset and healthy behavior, as well as how they enhance the socialization processing of learners, who move from being able to act collaboratively to promoting their communicative and problem-solving skills. Teaching life skills helps both teacher and learners to build resolution and take positive steps towards changing conditions, rather than giving in to complaining, discontent, or resentment. While this transformation is particularly dramatic in hardship conditions, the skills are equally useful for learners and teachers worldwide, and I hope you’ll leave the plenary session full of ideas to benefit your own learners and the enthusiasm to carry.
Sameh Marzouki is an EFL Tunisian Senior Teacher and a trained Cambridge DELTA Teacher Trainer. She has been practicing TEFL and TEYL in different levels from primary, preparatory, secondary to training adults for 18 years in Tunisia and Gulf countries. She is an active member in Tunisia TESOL, TATE, Africa TESOL, Moroccan MATE and IATEFL YLTSIG. She has delivered different workshops and presentations all over the world such as, Morocco, Spain, Copenhagen, Thailand, Poland, Indonesia, Dubai, Oman, Senegal, Uganda, Istanbul, Cote d'Ivoire, UK and Qatar.
Sameh is known for her dedication to voluntary work. She presided a civic association in Tunisia dealing with deprived children. She has volunteered teaching, during her vacations, in many remote areas in different parts of the world such as Tunisia, Indonesia, Shawi tribes in Oman mountains, Long Neck village in Chiang Mai, Thailand and Pigmy tribes in Uganda. She was awarded the Educational Prize 2008 by the Omani Ministry of Education.