• 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.
The Seli River Writing Project

The Seli River

The Seli (also called the Rokel) is the third largest of nine major river systems in Sierra Leone. It rises in the Guinea Highlands and, on its 250-mi (400-km) southwesterly course toward the Atlantic, drains a 4,100-sq-mi (10,620-sq-km) basin.  The drainage basin, outlined on this map, encompasses and links the towns of Bendugu, Kabala, Bumbuna, Binkolo, Makeni, Magburaka, Lunsar, Masiaka, and half of the Freetown Peninsula.

The Seli River watershed area gives life to, and richly grounds, our writing project.   It outlines a very old and still ongoing migrational trail, and represents the connectedness of all of us who live in the area.  We see this reflected in some of our students' writing.  Recognizing and maintaining the linguistic, cultural and biological diversity we see in this area promotes our personal well-being and completes us.  So far, SELI operates both near the source (in the Kabala area) and near the mouth (in the Freetown area) of the Seli River.

Many of the aims of the Seli River Writing Project are brought out in this article in the February 2013 issue of TESOL International's SRIS Newsletter.


Students write

Adults write

Junior secondary (middle) school students do personal experience and journal writing in SELI's extracurricular Young Writers clubs in ten schools. Although English is the language of instruction in their schools, the students need to learn how to write, and need more opportunities to produce English. They also develop a respect for their own home experiences and cultures through their club writing.

Teachers do personal experience and journal writing in SELI's Leading Young Writers workshops, gaining an awareness of the process writing workshop in preparation for the clubs they will be facilitating. For many of them, this is an awakening experience, and they seek ways to continue writing. SELI encourages them to participate in writers' groups for support.

  • Teach Your Mother Language!

    Tutors Needed!

    Come at 4 pm on February 21st, 2013, International Mother Language Day at 14F Clarke St, Tengbeh Town to volunteer to be a Sierra Leone language tutor. more

    Young Writers write

    Read the latest Seli River Writing Project Young Voices newsletter at http://www.seli.co/about-us/seli-blog! more

  • Hot Off the Press!

    They're changing the board!

    When new writing is posted at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Agricultural Secondary School in Kabala, no one wants to be the last to find out what Young Writers have to say!. more

  • Professional Development

    Teachers learn strategies to use for teaching a language to speakers of other languages, and for teaching writing in the classroom. more

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