Challenging Dagbani and English Alike

As I begin my second project with Iddi Farouk, I can already tell that our future challenges will be a new beast entirely. While the topic of Radio is a much more guiding prompt, the entire language of Dagbani is our base for the second topic. With the topic being so broad, our project is already taking multiple exciting directions.

Sumalia and Farouk have already came up with the inventive idea to create a Dagbani guidebook for future American fellows who are struggling to learn Dagbani. It would act as a helpful supplement to Sumalia’s Skype sessions. I can definitely see how having the words and the grammar rules in a physical copy in your hands would make learning the language much faster, especially for Western learners.

While I can play the role of practicing out these first pilot lessons of the book and editing the work for English grammar mistakes, I still feel that I will lack an integral role to that specific project because I frankly know very little Dagbani at this point. If the lessons are misleading or the material not encompassing enough, I would never be able to notice.

Instead, I plan to undertake my own personal project that would parallel and hopefully add to Farouk’s. Mirroring a Girl Scouts project that I planned out during my high school years, I wanted to create audiobooks and YouTube videos that would be recordings of ¬†Ghanaian children’s books. While access to internet is not always readily available in Dalun, Alice assured me many of the children at Titagya Schools watch videos on their parents phones. The audiobook portion could also be accessible at stations in Titagya classrooms. I was hoping that these recordings would be useful as they would be paired with recordings of the stories recited in Dagbani, allowing the children to practice their English and helping them engage their reading skills as it might increase their interest in storybooks.

For now , this project lies in the research and conceptual stage. I plan to create and launch my first pilot video on Monday by using a storybook created by BMC alum Maddy Beckman which is calledMaddy Visits Ghana.¬†Hopefully, my mentors and the teachers of Titagya Schools will like the idea and I can begin to tackle a wide variety of different Ghanaian children’s books that will help spark a love of a reading.

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