LIBTRALO has, for the second year running, actively participated in Peace Corps Liberia’s pre-service training (PST) for Peace Corps Trainees or Volunteers. A LIBTRALO team that comprised fourteen language and cross-cultural facilitators (a female and thirteen males), facilitated topics in Liberian English and culture, and indigenous language classes for fifty-six Peace Corps Trainees. The training which spanned three months: June, 2017-August, 2017 was conducted mainly in Doe Palace in Kakata outside of Monrovia, with a day or two in Monrovia.
The goals of L.R. 7 pre-service training were a) to help Peace Corps Trainees gain an appreciable level of communicative competence in Liberian English, b) help Peace Corps Trainees acquire good cultural knowledge for easy integration, and c) verify the competence levels of trainees in Liberian English. L.R.7 means the seventh batch of Peace Corps Volunteers that have come to Liberia since the end of the Liberian Civil War.
With these goals in mind, I together with my LIBTRALO colleagues embarked on our language and culture teaching on June 7, 2017. We taught across seventeen topics in Liberian English including Greetings and Introductions, Market, Buying Clothes at the Tailor’s, Social Occasions, among others. Topics for indigenous language classes included Greetings and Introductions and Asking for Help with Problems. After a period of healthy engagements with trainees, we finally conducted language proficiency interviews (LPI) with them. Quite interestingly, their enthusiasm to adapt to other people’s languages and cultures was reproduced in their responses during the interviews, as a result of which they demonstrated good proficiencies.
During PST 2017 the local languages that we taught include Bandi, Bassa, Dan (Gio), Gola, Gebo, Kisi, Klao (Kru), Kpelle, Krahn, Lorma, Mann (Mah).and Sapo (Sarpo). The volunteers are practicing greetings in these languages as a means to continuous language learning.
This continuity in service provision during pre-service training is predicated upon a tree-year contract agreement signed between LIBTRALO and Peace Corps Liberia for LIBTRALO to do DEVELOPMENT OF LANGUAGE LEARNING MATERIALS AND PROVISION OF LANGUAGE TRAINING PERSONNEL. Therefore, the teaching of Liberian English, indigenous languages and culture was like plaiting a new mat after the patterns of an old mat.
Teaching of the indigenous languages of Liberia by LIBTRALO does not end at Peace Corps Liberia pre-service trainings. We also operate indigenous language classes both in some churches and local communities.
You can learn one of the languages being taught, if you so select. For further details about these language literacy classes, visit LIBTRALO Office in the United Methodist Church Compound, 13th Street Sinkor, behind Boulevard Palace Hotel.