Published Sat, Feb 19, 22.
Written by Scott Chleborad.

Success doesn't come from simply receiving an education. Success comes from using the education that you've received. And the students at the Adams Thermal Academies intend to make good use of their new spoken-English curriculum in order to become proficient in the global language of commerce.

On January 23rd, a team of educators and technical experts from Central Church in Sioux Falls, SD USA, travelled to Ethiopia to launch a 3-year technology-based English Literacy program at the Adams Thermal Academy (ATA) schools in Hosanna and Ottoro. During their week at the schools, the team set up an audio book lab and a computer lab in each school and trained teachers and administrators how to use the technology. The program utilizes curriculum and methodology used by public schools in the United States for teaching English as a second language. 

The centerpiece of the new English Literacy program is a popular language-training software known as Rosetta Stone. Every student from 4th to 10th grade will use the computer lab daily to access their own personalized learning pathway. In addition, each student will wear a headset equipped with a microphone in order to take advantage of the application's speech recognition capabilities. Students in the computer lab will alternate sessions with those who are training in the audiobook lab. The audiobook lab features digital audio players which are controlled by the student as they read a book and hear the book read to them simultaneously.  

The new English Literacy program at the ATA schools was created by Dr. James Nold who serves as the Assistant Superintendent of the public school district in Sioux Falls. Dr. Nold visited the ATA schools in January of 2018 with members of Central Church. Because his school district already had robust resources for teaching English as a second language, Dr. Nold decided to put together a team that could bring spoken-English instruction to the under-privileged students who attend the ATA schools in Hosanna and Ottoro. The government-mandated curriculum in Ethiopia provides for written-English training only in K-12 schools.  

According to Dr. Nold, who accompanied the team in January, “Both the students and the teachers are anxious to begin using these unique new learning tools." The three-year program will benchmark the student's speaking skills at the beginning and then annually to determine the success of the program. 

Dr. Samuel Getachew, Director of African Operations for Adams Thermal Foundation stated, “We are most grateful for Dr. Nold who conceived of this program and implemented it out of his love for Christ and his love for the Ethiopian people. This program will bring glory to God and will raise the level of achievement for all of our students." 

The Adams Thermal Academies in Hosanna and Ottoro enroll only the "poorest of the poor", children from families who have no other prospects to receive an education.