• We all have the right to write. Anything we can say, we can write.
  • We all can write well if we are emotionally involved in our topic and our purpose. We find our voices there. Writing is learning and discovering. It develops best in real-life situations, with the instructor intervening in the writing process.
  • We learn to read by having written. We learn from our experiences, including experiences with oral and written texts. We should expose ourselves to many texts, and often do free-choice reading.
  • We learn best in collaborative, diverse, and supportive communities. We all learn in our own ways, and our home cultures affect how we interpret our experiences.
  • Moving through the writing process can produce powerful writing. We gain more ownership over our writing if we master the writing process.
  • Writing is a strong tool for developing critical thinking. Challenging our thinking as we write in collaborative settings, develops academic language proficiency.
  • We teach equitably:  not less, but more to the poor. We recognize our children's home communities and ancestral cultures as our educational partners.
Heritage Writers
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The Sentinel English Language Institute (SELI) seeks funding for Heritage Writers, a project which addresses the problem that both the development of a national literature and the sustenance of cultural diversity in Sierra Leone are impeded by the lack of motivation and opportunity among literate adults to write in their own primary languages.

Heritage Writers aims to increase steadily over a period of five years both the number of languages written in and the number of authors who publish in Sierra Leonean languages, while supporting the authors' development of writing and critical thinking skills.

During this program, SELI will carry out these activities:

  • Term-length process-writing workshops for potential or new authors in Sierra Leone languages to develop writing and critical thinking skills,
  • Writing Tutor Registry, a database of tutors willing to offer literacy instruction to native speakers
  • Five free tutoring literacy lessons in any Sierra Leonean language for native speakers of that language
  • An annual celebration of International Mother Language Day to gain support for writing in all languages in Sierra Leone
  • Annual poetry and short story contests
  • A literary journal to publish salient writing from the workshop and the contests

As of this writing, only the International Mother Language Day celebrations and the Writing Tutor Registry are underway.


© 2010 Jacqueline Leigh


Last Updated on Thursday, 24 February 2011 20:37
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