I have taught English, mostly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, primarily at the upper-secondary school level but also at the undergraduate level. My work as an English teacher has centered on both language proficiency and literary studies. I have taught English as an academic language to first and second-year university students, an experience that has made me more aware of the challenges faced by students when employing English, a second language for most, in an academic context. Moreover, I have taught English literature to upper-secondary school students, where I not only dealt with issues relating to English as a second language but also issues regarding cultural translation and exchange.
For my PhD dissertation, I aim to study how language- and literature-based education has historically been used not for the purposes of empowerment but rather cultural disempowerment and invasion. African literary texts that explore the colonial education system provide an insightful window into this historical reality. For the novels selected for my study, I hypothesize, not only expose oppressive pedagogical norms and practices that should be avoided, but also help us identify and harness qualities related to student experience and cultural translation that can propel our efforts in developing empowering education.