New Program: Teacher Conversation Partners!
“CanTeach Connections makes real Connections! It is rewarding to see that after finishing their sessions some of the fellows end up being real friends!” ~ Juan Ramón Joya Reyes, Ministry of Education, El Salvador
Our newest, virtual program began in January 2022 after discussions with the Salvadoran Ministry of Education English curriculum development team about how CanTeach could further help the teaching of English in El Salvador. CanTeach learned how rare it was for teachers to have exposure to native speakers of English, Over the course of several conversations, the curriculum development team shared design details with CanTeach about what would work best for them, and the Teacher Conversation Partner program was born!
The program pairs Canadian volunteers, ranging in age from 25 to 70+, with Salvadoran teachers of English. The public school teachers work in both elementary and secondary schools and choose to participate to improve their English pronunciation through 10 hours of virtual conversation with CanTeach volunteers, "I ask multiple questions about El Salvador history, culture and geography so my partner has the opportunity to speak a lot," says Tom.
As Juan identifies, the teachers "stop feeling intimidated about speaking to native speakers and are exposed to real English at a normal pace, properly pronounced words and delivered by native speakers of the language." Native speakers of English in El Salvador are very rare so this virtual conversation program.
We are fortunate to have a strong collaboration with the English curriculum development team of the Salvadoran Ministry of Education under the leadership of Juan Ramon Joya Reyes. Canadian volunteers are quick to point of the ways they too are benefiting from the program, especially .
"[My conversation partner] is enthusiastic to learn more about what I am curious about in regard to El Salvador the next time that we speak; and I am definitely looking forward to learning more about El Salvador and her own experiences," shares John.