The Language Barrier as a Stepping Stone

My Update:

Theophilus van Rensburg Lindzter


11 November, 2017

We have just completed our 4th Annual Wisehub summit in South Africa and have been encouraged by the progress made within Deaf Education, Mathematics Education, Project-Based Learning and Youth Workforce Development.

I was particularly reminded about the enormous work we are needing to do within Mathematics Education this time around when one of our presenters, Paul Sondergaard, showcased his revolutionary product at the summit.

Paul's work in South African communities over the last 5-6 years enabled him to see the difference it can make for young minds when time is taken to, not only explain terminologies within Mathematcis, but also when constant and consistent support are provided to these young minds. He has witnessed the low esteeem young people have when attempting to master the demands of Mathematics. It's not helped young children either that the teachers themselves did not bother to try and explain the language of Maths as part of their assignment.

When Paul stated these observations at our summit, I could not help but think back at my days as head of Social Science at Engelska Skolan in Gubbängen, just outside of Stockholm. One of the challenges we levelled at teachers within the Natural Sciences was to add to their teaching a regular inclusion of a glossary in order to help young students understand the subject, be it Maths, Biology or Chemistry. My sense was then, and still is, that, especially for students who have English as a second or even third language, a definition of terms would help and go a long way.

The suggestion was not so well-received and some teachers felt that their job was to teach Maths and they could be slowed down by teaching language.

It was encouraging to see that Paul Sondergaard and his team in South Africa have worked hard at acknowledging the need to aid mastering of the language of Maths as integral to performing well in the discipline.

The great news from it all is that Paul will join me in Stockholm on Thursday evening (16th Novemeber, 2017) to not only share his incredibly useful solution to Swedish teachers of Mathematics but also start a collaboration that can extend to and benefit organizations and parents who are concerned about competence within Maths education.

Hopefully we can find a way to warm up the cold in the North and see, that in an ironically wonderful way, the South has a word for the North.

SVENSKA:

Vi har precis avslutat vår fjärde årliga Wisehub-konferens i Sydafrika och har uppmuntrats av framgångarna inom dövutbildning, matematikutbildning, projektbaserat lärande och utveckling av ungdomsarbetskraft.

Jag fick en särskild påminnelse om det enorma arbete vi behöver göra inom matematikundervisningen, när en av våra presentatörer, Paul Sondergaard, visade upp sin revolutionerande produkt på konferensen.

Pauls arbete i sydafrikanska skolor de senaste 5-6 åren har gjort att han sett vilken skillnad det kan göra för unga elever när man tar sig tid att inte bara förklara terminologi inom matematik utan också ger dessa elever konstant och konsekvent stöd. Han har varit vittne till vilket lågt självförtroende barnen har när de försöker bemästra matematik och har dokumenterad skillnaden hans insats har gjort.

När Paul berättade om sina observationer på konferensen kunde jag inte låta bli att tänka tillbaka på mina dagar som ansvarig för de samhällsvetenskapliga ämnena på Engelska Skolan i Gubbängen, strax utanför Stockholm. En av de utmaningar vi gav till lärarna för de naturvetenskapliga ämnena var att inkludera arbete med ordförståelse för att hjälpa unga elever förstå ämnet, vare sig det handlade om matematik, biologi eller kemi.

Förslaget togs inte emot så väl och några lärare uttryckte att deras arbete var att lära ut matematik och att det arbetet skulle gå långsammare om de också skulle lära ut språk.

Det är uppmuntrande att se att Paul Sondergaard och hans team i Sydafrika arbetar hårt för att visa på behovet av att behärska matematikens språk för att kunna prestera väl i ämnet.

Den goda nyheten är att Paul, tillsammans med mig, kommer att besöka Stockholm på torsdag kväll (16 november 2017) för att inte bara dela med sig av sin fantastiskt användbara lösning till svenska matematiklärare, men också starta ett samarbete som kan vara till nytta för både organisationer och föräldrar som är bekymrade över ungas kompetens inom matematikundervisningen.

Förhoppningsvis kan vi hitta ett sätt att värma upp kylan i norr och, på ett underbart ironiskt sätt, se att syd har något att lära ut till nord.

Wisehub Schools receive Training Grant from US-based Growing Leaders Inc.


30 June, 2017, Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA

Three representatives from Wisehub Schools in the Western Cape are on their way to the US for training as Growing Leaders to be held in Indianapolis from 13-14 July 2017.

Learning Academy Worldwide's recently initiated partnership with Growing Leaders Inc. paved the way for the travel, accommodation and training grant for three representatives from Wisehub project schools in South Africa.

Russell Andrews from Kerria Primary School, Nazli Moralie from Kannemeyer Primary School and Alexander Solomons from Parkview Primary School, are busy packing their bags for the journey to Indianapolis, INDIANA.

They will enjoy the best possible preparation to become Habitudes Facilitators from one of the most innovative and interactive training programs. The team have, in preparation, already seen the congruence to the learning area called, Life Orientation in the South African Curriculum. Additionally, possibilities exist for youth character development and improving the confidence level of our young people in South Africa, especially during the vital phase of adolescence.



3 Awards give capacity to Innovative Education Projects

Three projects from the 2014 Innovation in Education summit were presented with the ISTEEM awards. Innovative Solutions in Technology that Embraces and Enhances Meaning (ISTEEM) is the first of an annual award that will be made available for initiatives within Education and development in Southern Africa. The Awards totaled R15 000 and were sponsored by Learning Academy Worldwide, Beijing Royal School, Royal Haskoning DHV and Communications Management Support (Pty) Ltd.

Mr Terrence Martin hosted the event, on behalf of Learning Academy Worldwide with support from Mobile Support Leader, Desmond van Rensburg.

"It was absolutely worth it traveling down from Johannesburg to this event," Mr Martin explained. "It is clear that the gesture means a great deal to the recipients."

ABOVE - From left to right: Mr Riaan van der Walt and Mrs Marisa Venter receives their award from Dr Masinde. Middle Picture: Royal Haskoning DHV Education Foundation Director, Mrs Pauline Makama present Mr Moeti and Mr Chandos with their awards assisted by Mr Terrence Martin, furthest to the right. In the picture to the far right, Mr Desmond van Rensburg receives the award on behalf of the Kwavulindlebe Primary School's Sekuyasa Project.