In partnership with Family Health International (FHI360), CAL is supporting the second language learning and instructional strategy for a multi-year early grades reading project in Djibouti. Located in East Africa, Djibouti’s strategic geographical location and hosting of allies’ military bases have contributed to the country’s political stability and significant opportunities for growth and development. The government of Djibouti’s Vision 2035 outlines the government’s ambitious economic and social development objectives and a strategy to achieve them. The Ministère de l’Éducation Nationale et de la Formation Professionnelle (MENFOP) seeks to improve early grade reading in Djibouti at the school, community, and policy level. The project, Djibouti Early Grade Reading Activity (DEGRA) supports MENFOP to achieve this goal by improving classroom materials and teacher training; building Civil Society Organization, Parent Teacher Association, School Management Committee, and family capacity to support reading; and strengthening the policy environment for reading instruction.
CAL is specifically involved in the first objective to improve classroom materials and teacher training related to language acquisition. Children in Djibouti learn to read in French, which is a language most students rarely encounter outside of school. In support of the project, CAL incorporates second language learning strategies in materials development, assessment, and teacher training. CAL project team members have trained MENFOP staff on best practices in second language learning and literacy; developed teacher training modules on second language learning; and advised curriculum planning and materials development for best practices in second language instruction.
Future project work includes designing an assessment approach for students’ French language and literacy progress and designing and advising the development of additional teaching and learning materials that respect the needs of second language learners. CAL will support work in each of these areas, through remote short-term technical assistance and occasional trips to Djibouti.