Q1: What is FTSJS?
FTSJS stands for Faculté de Travail Social et de Justice Sociale (College of Social Work and Social Justice), which is an accredited program that is part of the Episcopal University in Port au Prince. The mission of the school is to give bright, talented young Haitian students the skills to become social workers in their own country. The Creole Language Institute shares a campus with FTSJS and the income from the Creole Language Institute plays an essential role in helping to support the small college.
Q2: I don’t know any Creole. Is this the right program for me?
Yes. Our classes are small and are divided by level. Our teachers are able to accommodate beginners to advanced speakers. Meals with staff – who are Creole speakers — offer daily opportunities for practice outside of class.
Q3: I’m Haitian American and I speak some Creole. I just want to learn more?
Classes range from absolute beginner to advanced collegiate so there is a class for everyone. You may understand Creole well but struggle with grammar or writing. Your program will be designed to meet your individual needs.
Q4: What methods are used for teaching?
We use a variety of teaching techniques. Lecture type instruction is used for short periods of time, sandwiched between activities such as role plays and translation practice. More active learning opportunities are integrated throughout the program including field trips. Homework is designed to reinforce material learned in the classroom.
Q5: What is the housing like at the dorms?
Simple cabins are available on the Bon Repos campus. If you are in a shared room you will be with people of the same gender. Bathrooms are shared and have cold running water. There is electricity (with occasional outages), WIFI, dining space, and a community meeting area. Sheets, towels, pillows and blankets are provided.
Q6: Are meals included?
Creole language students who are staying on campus are provided with three meals per day. The meals are simple but nutritious. Lunch (the main meal of the day in Haiti) includes typical Haitian foods including stews, pasta, soup, grain and bean dishes, and vegetables or salads. Bottled water is always available. Dinner is a light meal of soup, rice dishes or pasta.
Q7: Will I learn grammar?
Yes. The program includes reading, writing, and oral communication in addition to learning about culture and Haitian society. Grammar is, of course, important for learning any language. But don’t fear! Haitian grammar is very simple and easily to learn, even for adult language learners
Q8: Who teaches the classes? What kind of qualifications do they have?
All language classes are taught by experienced language teachers who themselves have studied the best ways of teaching the language.
Q9: Who can participate?
Everyone motivated to learn Haitian Creole is welcome to attend. Participants will have the best time if they are flexible, willing to learn, and open to new experiences.
Q10: I’ve heard Haiti is very dangerous. Is the area near the campus safe?
Our Bon Repos campus has been very safe, even when there is unrest in other areas of Haiti. We do ask people to sign a “waiver of liability,” which means that you take responsibility for your own safety. But if the situation is too dangerous – and we are concerned – we would contact you and reschedule.
Q11: I’m a vegan, will I have problems eating in Haiti?
Our cook is very able to make accommodations for vegetarian and vegan diets.
Q12: Is there wi-fi?
Yes. There are occasional problems with our wi-fi, but it generally works well.
Q13: Can I come early? Can I stay late?
No problem! Extra days are $70 for room and board.