ALI's TRAVELS - enrichment

Ali & BELLA CONQUERRE's virtual world travels

We can write books about our Ali & Bella Conquerre's enrichment programme. We will not bore you with ALL the details, but we will share why we have developed this enrichment programme.

Our learners are not stupid, they are not difficult, they are not aggressive - they have been dealt the horrible hand of lack of stimulation and exposure to a world much bigger than the 20km radius around their homes. They don't have access to the internet and books and magazines and technology. It is one of those false beliefs in South Africa that everyone now has a smartphone and has no excuse to Google or learn online.

Yes, they have smartphones - do you know what smartphones need to Google and use apps? Data and the internet!

Do you know which country has one of the most expensive data package options in the world? Yes, you are right - South Africa!

The next remark is - "Why don't they use the library?" Who exposed them to libraries Who told them about the resources available to them there? Who taught them a love of reading and knowledge? Nobody - not their parents, as they did not know about the value of a library, not the schools as most schools in SA don't have libraries, or they are poorly stocked and managed. Plus, do you know the ridiculous hours that libraries are open? No Sunday. No Saturday afternoon. No late afternoon or early evening during the week. When can a working parent or school-going student visit the library?

How do you know what is out there and available to you if no one tells you, or shares it with you? You don't.

That is how the story of Ali & Bella Conquerre, the presidential camel couple from the Isle of VictorY! was born.

REASON ONE: The realisation for the need of exposing our learners to more than South Africa. For them to experience traveling the world - even if it is a virtual tour.

REASON TWO: The need for building vocabulary and general knowledge, which they need to communicate well, to understand examination questions, and to expand their mindset.

REASON THREE: We believe strongly that learning should be fun, interesting, and engaging. What is more fun...

  1. To write an advertisement for a function that you have to suck out of your thumb OR to be told a story of how Ali & Bella is throwing a charity benefit for children who have no shoes, that famous people will be there, but they also want to invite children to submit their names to receive shoes from the benefit. Now design a poster and pamphlet to tell parents and children about this opportunity... Which do YOU prefer?

  2. To work out the area of a building and how much paint, tiles, and carpet you will need OR to be asked by Bella to be the interior designer for the new soup kitchen on the island and to get a painter and a tiler to help you do the job. But first, you have to work out the quote, by working out the square meters of the area, find the prices by visiting Builders online - maybe visit Chamberlains & Leroy Merlin & Makro as well to compare prices - work out how much paint, tiles, and carpet you will need to the job. Then work out the daily rate of your skill workers, plus a percentage profit on top of it all... Which would have more life meaning and relevance to YOU?

  3. To write a test on the basic conditions of employment OR be given case studies by Ali of problems with staff in the government surfboard factory and using the basic conditions of employment - first, find out what is the problem, secondly, what does the BCE say about this issue (legal rights of employer and employee), give a suggestion to Ali on how he should deal with the issue and the employees in each case, plus how he can avoid it in future - then write a simple policy to prevent these issues from happening again... Which do YOU think is less stressful and more fun to the learners?

  4. There are many more examples we can provide you, but we are sure you get what we do from the three above.

REASON FOUR: When learners enjoy themselves and see WHY they are learning what they are learning, it has meaning to them and why they should be committed and not miss a class. (With long-term contracts like AET-FLC-Learnerships it is always a challenge to keep the learners motivated and to keep on attending right to the end.)

WHY ANIMALs as our storyline characters?

It is often difficult to discuss sensitive issues like diversity, race, beliefs, governance in a training session. BUT, if we use fictional characters to introduce the issues - especially around election times, or now with wearing a mask during Covid - from a fictional island then it takes the personal out of the discussions and brings the objective into it. Then it is easier to transfer the final resolution of the discussion or debate back into the real lives of the learners within the classroom. Every classroom or training room has diversity in it - sport, religion. language, gender, age, culture, music, movies & series, political, economic, geological. Every classroom or training room has different levels of education and exposure to education in it. There is NO UNIFORM "THEM" or unemployed youth or blue-collar worker.

Through the "Ali's Travels" videos, country exploration, discussions, assignments, and exposure, everyone in the class can feel safe and contribute fully.

The learners all receive an Ilse of VictorY! passport and they get a stamp every time they attend the class and saw the lesson on a country. If they miss the class, they miss their stamp. They also do not get a reading book or vocabulary book for that module. This is a great motivation not to miss class.

WHY CAMELs particularly?

The real simple answer is that Jacqueline Klem we designed and developed this enrichment programme loves the expressiveness on the faces of camels. They are really stinky, dirty animals, but they work very well in this context.
The more academic answer is that camels are known to South Africans, but they are NOT a South African animal and therefore it makes them objective again. Nobody in the class identifies with "being a camel", like they would with being a lion or elephant or springbok for example.
Ali & Bella Travels the world and they meet animals from that country as their host, which brings the personal and familiar into the story - as well as the pride in "my" country.
This exposes the learners to the environment, conservation, and pride of country as well - as a side issue.

WHY Ali & Bella Conquerre?

Each character in this enrichment programme has short names and follow the alphabet - accidental learning for the learners who mostly battle with the correct pronunciation of the English language alphabet - it is not "AAA", but "a", not "BEE", but "b" for example. It also makes it easier to remember the characters' names. The lion in South Africa is Loi for example - and he is a Rastafarian and DJ.
We enforce the idea that "I am VICTORIOUS" in my learning and training in every lesson - therefore the name Isle of VictorY!, as well as the concept that "I CAN conquer" my fears and worries - especially around the time exams and tests come around. Therefore the surname "Conquerre".
They also speak French on the Isle of VictorY!. That means English is their second language and they make mistakes, but they are not afraid to learn.

WHY these countries as shown below?

The enrichment programme is a 5-year cycle - particularly keeping the 5-year AET & FLC cycle in mind.
Learners are exposed to:
1. The Isle of VictorY!
2. World Monopoly - the world of business
3. Space
4. Earth - continents, oceans, timeline, north, south, etc. We introduce the learners to Google Earth during this module.
5. South Africa
6. The first five is the starting point for EVERY cycle and then from here on the learners visit a country (or two) on every continent over a 10 week period.
7. Finish with a global village organisation or event - like the Olympics or WHO or Unicef.

The countries were chosen for the alphabet - A - Z, as well as ensuring we visit every continent and diversity of race, religion, governance, culture, etc.

That is Ali's Travels in a nutshell. This programme is being developed further and some exciting things are happening around it. We will keep you updated.

Example of a cycle of learning with some images from the Isle of VictorY!

Countries we visit in a five-year cycle