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Ecuadorean teachers commence English classes at SVGCC

Ecuadorean teachers commence English classes at SVGCC

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After months of planning and sorting out logistics, a group of Ecuadorean teachers have arrived in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) where they will embark on a seven month English course.

The programme, which is geared towards teaching the Ecuadoreans English and also how to teach English when they return to Ecuador, is called ‘Teach English Caribbean’{{more}} and is being carried out at the SVG Community College (SVGCC) by four local English teachers.

Thirty-eight of the expected 44 teachers who will take part in the program were introduced to the media last Monday during a welcoming ceremony at the SVGCC at Villa. The other six will arrive here this week.

Speaking at the ceremony, director of the SVGCC Nigel Scott welcomed the students to the first day of the seven-month programme which was negotiated by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves and Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa.

Scott said that the two men decided that they could help each other lift the English level of teachers and SVG’s membership in ALBA further spurred “the teach English programme.”

He added also that the local teachers who will conduct the programme have been trained to do so, while the Ecuadoreans will not only learn English, but also how to teach it.

He noted also that a similar programme is being carried out at the Dominica State College in Dominica and at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in Barbados.

The programme was developed by a local team of lecturers comprising, among others, Harriet DaSilva, dean of the division of teacher education; Karen Thomas and Janice Dean (academic coordinator of programme and lecturer).

Conversing in Spanish at times, chief education officer Lou-anne Gilchrist, addressing the Ecuadoreans, said that at the end of programme, they will “want to come back and our wish is that you would immerse yourself in Vincentian culture and learn the dialect, as well as the proper English.”

She noted that the Ecuadoreans will, during the last month of their stay, visit schools and that will give them a good understanding of what they can do when they return to Ecuador.

Gilchrist said that the programme is part of the Government’s thrust to ensure the teaching of English in Ecuador is improved while here, we are hoping to strengthen Spanish and French in schools.

Vincentian diplomats and public servants have also been sent to Ecuador to learn Spanish.

Also present at Monday’s welcome ceremony was Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who described President Correa as a “good friend,” stressing that Ecuador and SVG are bonded by ALBA.

He said that programmes of this nature work to deepen regional integration between Latin America and Caribbean and noted that the training will be internationally certified, “so that you not just coming here on excursion or holiday, but to do serious academic and professional work.”

The Prime Minister also urged the students to visit the bridges that were built here earlier this year by an Ecuadorean team of engineers.

The five lecturers are Carlton ‘CP’ Hall, Janice Dean, Leslea Martin, Timothy Maloney and Ena Bullock.(LC)

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