In March 2022, the English Connects project launched an online competition asking teachers all over SSA to use and demonstrate one of our Teaching English Africa classroom activities and submit a photo with a short description of the activity they have used, the objectives for student learning they were trying to achieve, and finally what result(s) they have accomplished by using the activity with their learners.

32 teachers entered the competition to win a laptop and Hammed Lawal was drawn as the winner after a difficult selection process. Here is what Hammed had to say about the whole experience.

When did you first discover Teaching English Africa?

Though, I started digging deep into online resources to augment my English teaching since the global lockdown in 2020. I can't recall the exact date I discovered TEA but I've always been following the TeachingEnglish-British Council's updates where I took short courses, joined webinars, and read almost every blog update until I ran across the Facebook ads for teachers to apply for the TEA competition.

What are some of the best features of the Teaching English Africa website?  

One best feature of the TEA website which I enjoy is that it is user-friendly. The website is easy to navigate and attractive ( I love the blue, white and yellow colors). One other thing I have learned and which I must commend about the site is its consistent updates of the latest publications from educators in countries across Africa. They make me compare and see myself beyond Nigeria.  I have also found useful classroom activities which have been enormously contributing to my ELT skills. 

How have your skills and confidence improved after using the tips and resources from the website? 

Now, I can see myself advancing from old teaching ways where a teacher enters a class, teaches, and leaves. My classes are looking more creative and impactful coupled with variations of techniques, activities, and games which I have been utilizing. 

How has your teaching been impacted since starting using the resources on Teaching English Africa?

Now, my students are comfortable learning English because most of the techniques are learner-centered. They are engaging!

 Is there anything else you’d like others to know about Teaching English Africa?

If there will be anything I would like other teachers to know about TEA, I would say every English teacher in Africa should model their teaching after TEA activities by staying tuned for updates on the website and joining other teachers on Telegram (English Connects). This is because I foresee a big and promising change in ELT in Africa if we all come together to share our ideas, tips, and even problems. Finally, I have learned so far that teaching is not one-way traffic. It requires our creativity, understanding learners (showing them how to do it themselves), and improvising scarce resources to garnish our teachings.