A Guest Post by Abate Hagos
Abate Hagos attended high school in the Sidaama zone of Ethiopia and speaks Sidaama, Amharic, and English. He has a BA in English Language and Literature and attended the Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching Program and the Higher Diploma Program at Dilla University. He currently teaches in the Hawassa College of Teacher Education in southern Ethiopia.
I wrote this poem when I was a student at Jimma University and presented it on English Day at the university. I wanted to show how crucial it is that we learn English and how broad and important its use is around the world. Now I use the poem with the high school classes that I teach. I have found it to be very helpful to make the students aware of the importance of English in everyday life, anywhere they go, so that they will be motivated to learn English.
Although my students and I don’t always have opportunities to use and develop our English in our everyday lives in Ethiopia, I recognize its importance for our involvement in the world at large, and I want them to have this understanding as well. English teachers in other countries might use this poem in their classes to give their students a sense of the perceptions of the language that we have in Ethiopia.
Power of English
Birds speak, people listen.
Go to America. Come to Africa.
Be on the earth or on the moon.
Move on the land or on the ocean.
There is English in every place.
Words in the dictionary,
Utterance of the mouth,
Pronunciation of Natives,
Dialect of Britain or America?
Tell us how to learn,
To gain English,
To make contact with the world.