SIL International Media Release
Literacy seminar on capacity building in Togo
(October 2009) Twelve local language-development associations sent five representatives each to a training seminar in Kara, Togo, 26–29 October. Capacity building seminar for local associations involved in language development was designed for literacy program coordinators, supervisors and administrators. Experienced SIL literacy personnel presented lectures and led discussions structured around practical participatory activities and small group discussions.
Eleven language groups already had developed mother-tongue literacy materials and an on-going literacy program. In the last several months, a Togolese capacity-building expert spent two weeks each with representatives of most of these associations, developing a common basis of knowledge about the organization and management of an association.
This group seminar discussed how participants from the language groups could encourage the existing local desire for language development, literature production and mother-tongue literacy. Discussions also focused on ways to build upon their vision by spreading mother-tongue literacy and education.
Motivation and vision
The topics of motivation and vision addressed the values and aspirations of these local associations in wanting to develop their languages.
- Where do they want to go?
- What do they want to accomplish?
- What are their goals?
- How can they get there?
One activity used concentric circles to discuss the desired changes or outcomes of language development and literacy work, first at home, next in the community, then within their ethnic group and finally at the regional and national levels.
Sharing of the vision
- What strategies to use so people will want to participate and support the association's vision
- Using concrete examples, how to show people the benefits they can experience through learning to read and write in their mother tongue
- The need for strong leadership in their associations—people who are passionate for the development and use of their language and have positive influence to help the vision to take root and grow
Direction, management and finances
The direction and management topic looked at the essential components of a literacy program.
- What types of people are needed to manage the program?
- What skills and training are necessary?
- How many people are needed to carry out the program?
- Learning how to plan activities and how to make an accurate budget that will accomplish what they set out to do.
- How to identify major stake-holders and potential partners
- What donors are looking for in a project
- Developing and maintaining good partner relations
Related links of interest
- SIL Togo Web site
- SIL Benin Web site
- SIL mother-tongue literacy programs
- Literacy and education in SIL
- Advanced literacy course in francophone Africa (September 2009 media release)
- Bamako International Forum on Multilingualism (January 2009 media release)
- International language and development conference (June 2009 media release)
- Language policy research symposium (April 2009 media release)
- SIL and multilingual education