The Department of Early Childhood Education in the School of Education continues to successfully implement its student exchange with the University College Leuven Limburg (UCLL). In the first semester 2017, it is hosting two cohorts of exchange students who are visiting Univen to receive training in teaching practice at the department and undertake work integrated learning in Mvudi and Tshiluvhi Primary schools close to the University’s campus. The first group was hosted from 7 February 2017 to 24 March 2017. The team in the Department of Early Childhood Education led by Professor Ndileleni Mudzielwana structured activities which ensured that the Univen Early Childhood Education students benefit from the exchange.
At the University, the Department of Early Childhood Education structured engagements in which the visiting UCLL students shared their perspectives with local students through presentations. For example, in a talk delivered to students in the BED-FP programme they introduced the Belgian approach to remedial teaching, methods and strategies to Univen students.
The engagement with the Belgian students is also of great benefit to the primary schools, their learners and teachers. Prof Mudzielwana explains that ‘during Teaching Practice, the exchange students from Belgium modelled good practice of teaching learners with reading problems by dividing them in small groups in order to give them individual attention’.
For example, the Belgian student teaches apply the ‘Thrass-methode, Teaching Handwriting, Reading and Spelling Skills’. And the students practiced one on one and or 1 on 4 method of teaching reading and spelling skills, for remedial learning. Dedicated support for the students is provided by mentors from the Department of Early Childhood Education, Mrs SA Mulovhedzi, Mrs RM Makhwathana,MS HBCassim and Dr MG Sikhwari. Each student has a mentor who regularly visits and provides support.
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