Empowering through Language

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By: Shpresa Frrokaj, YES Kosovo’13

Shpresa Frrokaj (YES Kosova '13) and staff and students of "Nene Tereza” in Prizren

Shpresa Frrokaj (YES Kosova ’13) and staff and students of “Nene Tereza” in Prizren

A few years ago, when I first started to learn English, I thought it was difficult. At the time I was not aware of how rewarding knowing two languages can be. Gradually, with the help of my teachers my skills improved. I was able to read books in English, communicate with friends from English-speaking countries and eventually be part of the YES program.

Now, a year after coming back from my exchange year, I realized much a simple decision of starting to learn a language mattered. That’s why I, together with the other YES Alumni and the American Councils office in Kosovo, had the idea to help high school students with disabilities learn English through the project “I Too Can Speak English.”

ITCSE targets students with visual, hearing and motor impairment from the cities of Prizren, Peja and Prishtina. The first phase of the project in Prizren has just been carried out in June.

For this first phase we cooperated with the school “Nene Tereza.” There, I, along with Yllza Hoti (YES 12’), began teaching English lessons to a few selected students aged 15-18 who have hearing impairment and sharing resources with teachers. We carried out these teaching activities in Prizren with this student group on the 9th, 10th, 16th, and 17th of June.  What makes our project unique is that it is the first project of teaching students with disabilities carried out in the country that uses technology, interactive games, visual images and videos to facilitate the learning process.

For the students, the experience of getting a grasp of another language has been a new, exciting experience, especially since the lessons were conducted in a non-traditional way.

YES Alumni have been enthusiastic on the support of the project as well. We are looking forward to the next phases of the project in Peja and Prishtina during Fall.

We hope that these students, just like me a few years ago, will be empowered by English. They will be able to read books in English, communicate with friends from English-speaking countries and who knows, maybe be part of the YES program.