Speaking English in Haiti!
In march 2017, I went for a mission trip to Leogane a city in the South part of Haiti. After the mission trip was over, I went to visit the town where I grew up. To my surprise, a brand-new professional school in the town was in desperate need for a professor to teach Medical Pharmacology and dosage calculation for health care students. They approached me and I agreed to travel to Haiti 2 to 3 times a year for 2 weeks each time just to teach those classes. This teaching experience, other mission trips, and this mission trip experience has inspired me to start Building Life for Haiti, Inc.
One day, while I was teaching in Haiti, a student addressed a very interesting question. The student said: “can you teach us English”. I was shocked; I said: “I am here to teach medical pharmacology and dosage calculations”. The student replied: “if we only know English, our chances of getting a better job will increase”. Besides, she continued, “almost all of the medications that we are using carry English names”. This was a wakeup call for me since I did almost all my education in the United States. I am in a good position to help them. The students struggled with a lot of scientific terms. Sometimes, all they have are English science text books where they barely understand what’s going on. Life would be much easier for them if they only knew English. As a native, this is a way that I will make an impact and give back to my birth country, Haiti.
By teaching English as a Second language, (ESL), Building life for Haiti, Inc., will celebrate the Haitian and American cross-cultural encounter in the arts, foods, stories, idioms, languages and so on. The Haitian community will learn the values, habits, ways of life and culture of the American people. During summer periods, Building Life for Haiti will welcome various Americans to Haiti where they will help students who attend classes to be fluent in English. The American travelers will also get a chance to learn the Haitian language and culture. This type of friendly interaction is a win/win for United State and Haiti.
Building life for Haiti, Inc., goals and objectives are for Haitian people to speak English within the two years period. For the short-term goal, student will be assessed weekly and we will offer tutoring services for struggling students. At the end of each course, there will be exams to assess the student’s progression in the language. Finally, before graduation, each student must pass a video conversation exam. This will be done with an American English Teacher. For another year, students who will pursue higher education can continue to the next level of English. We will prepare them to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), which is required for higher education.
Building Life for Haiti, Inc., will tell America’s story and history in Haiti. We will use touchstone 2nd Edition which is an innovative new series for adult and young adult learners of English. It draws on extensive research into the Cambridge International Corpus of North American English. Building Life for Haiti Inc., will also use on the job English series to help students improve the English they will need for their current or future careers. We will teach through relevant work situations, practice communication skills, that is essential for career success and give them the confidence they need to use English at work. Through four semesters of 15-week classes students will learn English. The four semesters of classes will take two years to complete. After the initial four classes are completed, students who plan to attend an American college or university may take the two semesters to prepare them for the TOEFL exam.
Building Life for Haiti, Inc., believes that the English as a Second Language (ESL) program will be able to run independently in the near future. We will have a fee for service, and an annual fund campaign. Building Life for Haiti will also go to local businesses in the community to ask for gifts and donations. Building Life for Haiti believes in this calling that is why we are pouring ourselves into it. Soon and very soon, the community shall stand up on his feet by the grace of God. We would have visionaries, alumni, caring people to support the mission. Time has come for Haitian people to stand strong on their feet and ask what can they do for Haiti but not what Haiti can do for them. If you would like to get involved in this splendid campaign and vision, please do not hesitate to visit us at blfh.org. Thank you.
Below you will see our brochure to introduce our English Classes. You can see the full screen by expanding the picture below.