For over 20 years, ALTA has continued to thrive thanks to the work of our committed volunteers and the passion of our founder and CEO, Paula Lucie-Smith. This was clearly evident at ALTA’s annual tutors meeting, held on Saturday 25 June where over 100 active and newly trained volunteers came together to chart the way forward into another successful academic year. Present amidst the volunteers was ALTA’s patron Zalayhar Hassanali and Professor Ian Robertson who gave a presentation on Creole English and the Adult Literacy Student.
Professor Robertson is well known in academia for his research in the field of linguistics. Guyanese by birth, he is the former Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education at the UWI St Augustine Campus and a former lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics. He gave a lengthy but incredibly interesting presentation, which looked at the value of teaching adult learners in Creole English versus Standard English. He also looked at the intricacies of Creole English and gave many entertaining examples of both phonetic and grammar rules which tutors should keep in mind when teaching Trinidadian adults to read and write. He left the audience thinking about the importance of understanding the nature of language – both the language which is being taught, as well as any languages students bring into the classroom – in order to teach effectively.
It was extremely inspiring and promising for ALTA’s future to see so many long standing and new tutors attend a meeting on a Saturday morning – many coming from as far as Point Fortin. The feedback we received during the meeting is testament to the unwavering commitment which our volunteer tutors have to the Association. Undoubtedly, without this dedication ALTA would not be where it is today and so we take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all our volunteers – both past and present.