This workshop was held over 2 days at Paleng, and 13 teachers from 6 Primary and 2 pre-schools attended. Only one Primary school and one Reception class did not take up the invitation to attend the workshop.
The aim of the workshop was to give teachers exposure to storybooks and their use in the classroom, bearing in mind the limitations that operate in rural schools. We ran this workshop as an outreach activity of Paleng library, in order to support teachers who teach many of our Paleng children, and to promote the activities of the African Storybook Project (ASP) for which we are the Lesotho pilot site.
We designed our activities for the teachers around the probability that they would not have multiple copies of books, but would be using one book in the classroom to teach reading.
We tried also at various points to incorporate a strategy already widely used and well known to teachers, that of getting children to repeat or read text aloud after the teacher as a group. We did this in order as to show teachers that this has value, but that it is limited, and can be modified to suit more constructive purposes than simple repetition and choral reading that generally does not promote understanding of written texts by children learning to read.
We ran the workshop in both English and Sesotho deliberately, even though we know that many teachers understand English to a greater or lesser extent. This is because we firmly believe in the primacy of mother-tongue as the language of teaching and learning, even if there is code-switching between languages, and we wanted to drive home this point to the participants.
We wanted to deliver activities that the teachers can implement immediately and relatively easily in their classrooms, and so we did not engage them in activities that could not easily be transferred to the classroom, and specifically gave them the materials that they would need to do so (see Day Two, F.)
This report outlines the workshop activities in detail.