Wednesday, June 10, 2009

ELF Highlights: Barranquilla and Cartagena

Highlight 18
Date: June 1-3, 2009
Title: ELF Visits Centro Cultural Colombo Americano in Barranquilla
Participants: 187
From June 1 to June 3, English Language Fellow Erin Lowry imparted a total of five workshops at the Centro Cultural Colombo Americano in Barranquilla. Three of these trainings, a total of six hours, were attended by 110 public school teachers from the city, and focused on how to teach pronunciation and vocabulary, as well as strategies for integrating technology in large classrooms with few resources. The local Secretary of Education paid a visit the first day as a part of Barranquilla Bilingue program, and diplomas were provided for teachers who attended all three workshops.  In addition, two workshops were provided for Colombo teachers. The first, titled “Motivating Underachievers,” dealt with strategies for motivating students to learn English, in particular in the bilingual assistant programs at the binational center.  The second workshop, “Ideas for Authentic Listening,” introduced teachers to new online resources for engaging students in listening activities, as well as new ways to teach using authentic songs and film.  

Public school teachers share their experiences
Highlight 19
Date: June 4 & 5, 2009
Title: ELF Visits Centro Colombo Americano in Cartagena
Participants: 100
Senior English Language Fellow Erin Lowry spent two days in Cartagena giving workshops to teachers from the Centro Colombo Americano and the public sector.  On the first day, Colombo teachers discussed the importance of syllabus and course design in the morning, and methods for teaching listening and speaking in the afternoon.  An open house workshop on teaching vocabulary was scheduled for the second day for teachers from other educational institutions in Cartagena, but was unfortunately cancelled due to rain and flooding in the city. 

Colombo Cartagena teachers discuss the relationship between course objectives and evaluation methods

Highlight 20
Date: June 3 & 5, 2009
Title: ELF Visits Escuela Superior de Administración Pública in Barranquilla and Cartagena
Participants: 61
Regional branches of the nationwide Escuela Superior de Administración Pública (ESAP) in Barranquilla and Cartagena were host to Senior English Language Fellow Erin Lowry on June 3rd and 5th, respectively. ESAP had invited teachers from both public and private sectors in each city to attend a workshop on Shaping the Way We Teach English, a teacher training program developed by the University of Oregon under request of the US Department of State’s Office of English Language Programs. Shaping is a tool designed to standardize teaching practices of English as a foreign language in countries. Participants were introduced to the materials, and worked through a portion of an example module dealing with teaching large classes.  The materials, which include a trainer’s manual, DVDs with videos of classrooms from around the world, and a set of readings, were donated to all branches of ESAP that ELF Lowry has visited in the first half of 2009.  
Public school participants in Barranquilla pose after a workshop teacher training materials

Teachers from various institutions in Cartagena discuss how they manage large classrooms of 35 to 60 students

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