The Association of Teachers of English in Rwanda (ATER) has supported the recent creation of a new community of practice (CoP) in Gicumbi district, located in Rwanda’s northern province. This CoP first met among themselves in March, 2017. Local CoP leader Isaie Nyirinkwaya and English Language Fellow Leah Jordano-Kudalis then collaborated to plan and carry out a day-long teacher training for 30 local teachers in Gicumbi district on May 20th, 2017. During this training, Nyirinkwaya presented his colleagues with information about the learner-centered focus of Rwanda’s new Competency-Based Curriculum and Jordano Kudalis led an interactive workshop on effective small group practices.

Isaie Nyirinkwaya, Head of Gicumbi CoP presenting on Competency-Based Curriculum

ELF Leah Jordano facilitating a workshop to the Gicumbi CoP teachers.

English Language Fellow John Whalen (Tanzania) then led a workshop on critical inquiry and English Language Fellow Christine Kendrick (Rwanda) led a workshop on multiple intelliences. After the four workshops, Richard Niyibigira, ATER’s current president met with CoP members to discuss how their involvement in their CoP can benefit them and their students. Finally, Fellow Jordano-Kudalis invited CoP members to propose their own workshops to give to their peers at the next training session, explained the purpose of the evaluation form, and raffled off a few useful prizes (e.g., notebooks, pencil cases, and teaching supplies).

Richard Niyibigira, the president of ATER addressing CoP members

ELF Christine Kendrick delivering a workshop in Gicumbi

Feedback from the participants was very positive. The Maximizing Active Learning
through Effective Small Group Practices, Introduction to the Competence-Based Learner
Centered Approach, and Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences workshops received a
mean ratings ranging between 4.38 and 4.07, with a score of [5] signifying “extremely
useful,” and [4] indicating “very useful.” The additional workshop, Critical Inquiry,
Teaching, and Learning, had a mean rating of 3.77.

John Whalen presenting on multiple intelligences.

Quotes about the activity

In your own words (or words of a participant), tell us your impressions of the activity in short sentences. We may use these quotes for our website or other promotional

materials. Please include 1-3 quotes.

1.“I will use all I learned in these workshops today by encouraging my students to be self-independent discoverers and also to teach my fellow teachers to teach well through small group practices, critical thinking, multiple intelligences, and the learner-centered approach I have learnt.” -participant, Gicumbi Community of Practice

2.“I learned that small group workers pay attention more than in large groups and this helps them share their ideas. Small groups have a great role in letting learners to participate in their learning process and learn from one another. I am encouraged to use small group discussions so that the learners will actively participate in their learning that will make them to remember more of what we do.” -participant, Gicumbi Community of Practice