TALKING DRUM: Teaching English on social media, a young man’s quest

Eric Nuamah Korankye[/caption]  “Farther and further are very similar words both in spelling and meaning. Many times, they are used interchangeably. However, there are some important differences we can make between the two,” so starts his lesson numbered 213. In an era where people send all kinds of messages on social media, some voluminous enough to be called pamphlets, mainly ordering its receivers to forward to 20 people or face God’s wrath, one man has chosen a different path. Meet Eric Nuamah Korankye affectionately called Hamlet; the young man teaching English Language on social media, specifically, WhatsApp and Facebook. From Mondays to Fridays, Hamlet sends his readers somewhat lengthy but very useful and insightful dosage of write-ups just after the cock had crowed. His lessons break down the Queen’s Language to Ghanaians and the world at large. “The lessons have been designed to address the often misused expressions, confusing words, misgrasped words, pronunciation difficulty, spelling challenges, misused idioms, problems with grammar and difficulties in distinguishing amongst the various varieties of English especially the British English, American English and educated Ghanaian English,” he tells me. Feedback from readers and subscribers, he says, show that these lessons are very educative and inspiring to young ones to learn the English language the right way. So… who is this teacher teaching on social media? Hamlet, 26, is a man passionate about language studies. He pursued a four-year Bachelor’s Degree in English with a minor in Akan at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi. Completing his studies at KNUST, he served as a Teaching Assistant in the university’s Department of English from September 2013 to August 2014. Here, Hamlet assisted in courses such as Communication Skills, Literature in English, Critical Ideas, Research Methods in English, Practical Appreciation among others. It would interest you to know that before his national service at KNUST, he voluntarily served as a Teacher of English at Manso Adubia Senior High School, Manso, in the Ashanti Region. In 2015, he joined the Ideal College branch at Buokrom Estate in Kumasi where he taught English Language and Literature-in-English. He has been a Teacher of English at almost every level, from primary school to the tertiary level, and this exposure has made him much informed about the needs of students in the English language.

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Having known him for some time now, Hamlet comes across as a young man who is enthusiastic about inspiring confidence in young people, within and outside Ghana, to be expressive in their native languages as well as the English language which is the official language in many countries. It is this spirit, he says, that birthed the inception of Before Breakfast Lessons which he has broadcast on social media for some months now. If you have ever read Before Breakfast Lessons on WhatsApp or Facebook and admire its publisher so much as I do, then here you are getting to know him better. I must say Hamlet is not any more of a super human than you, my reader, are. He is just an ordinary man doing small things in an extraordinary ways. For some time now, English language has been taught by many people outside the everyday classroom. Indeed, on some radio stations across the country especially GBC Radio (Unique FM), in Accra, the Queen’s Language has been taught. What made me first contact Hamlet was the fact that he was not abusing social media. I have written a whole piece on ‘Why social media is now your CV’ having realised how powerful such platforms are. Nonetheless, many of my contemporaries seem to be adamant of what they do on social media. I keep advising friends to keep showcasing to the world what they are good at… on their respective social media walls. If you are a footballer, carpenter, painter, teacher, journalist or pastor, give your friends on social media a reason to follow you and your works. I can say without batting an eyelid that Hamlet has given enough reason for the world to follow him. Aside teaching English Language, Hamlet takes much interest in being an essayist. Passionate about the discourse of Africa, he brings this passion to bear in his writings and social commentaries on issues concerning Africa. “I believe that the narratives about Africa in the aeon of her history have been skewed to negativities by a prejudicial western media landscape. So, through many of my poems, I project the new rising Africa and urge friends of the ink to equally contribute to changing the debased narrative about Africa,” he said. He, as well, writes about love, communism, equality, streetism, education and, most importantly, on the need to uphold the pillars of moral, cultural and social values. In case you would want to have a personal interaction with Hamlet, look for him at the Hansard Department of the Parliamentary Service of Ghana as he is currently a sub-editor there. As I wrap up on this piece, I have received a notification on my WhatsApp. It’s Before Breakfast Lessons. What just came in is ‘lesson 233’. Somewhere in the middle of the text is “The use of ‘hyphens’”. Can I excuse you to go have a read?
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By Solomon Mensah|3FM||Ghana   The writer is a broadcast journalist with 3FM/TV3. Views expressed here solely remain his and do not reflect the editorial policy of his organisation. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @Aniwaba]]>