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The impact of CanTeach's programs is felt by teachers and students in El Salvador, as well as the volunteers both within Canada and those who travel to El Salvador. While we have a number of programs, these testimonials of impact provide a small indication of the positive and lasting effects on program participants.
Conversation Partner Feedback
My experience with CanTeach Connections was very rewarding and insightful! It was refreshing to be able to see how someone from another country lives and experiences life and to observe both the differences and the similarities from our way of living. I also learned a lot from my student about their culture and language. Being able to enhance someone’s knowledge of English feels great, especially when you know it can help them down the road. Overall, I truly enjoyed volunteering with CanTeach Connections and was able to make a new friend throughout the process. (YS)
I am really enjoying the time with her as she is a delightful, hard-working student. (JC)
It is very heart warming to talk to [Salvadoran partner]. She has introduced me to her Mom and Dad and also have said hello to her sister.
She sends me the link and always tells me what she would like to talk about. Even though she is taking 15 classes at school online, she still wants to talk 3 times a week. She is a hard working young lady and I treasure my time talking with her. (IS)
Working with my conversation partner from El Salvador has been a wonderful learning experience from both ends! Not only have I gotten to know my partner well and see her English improve, but I too have learned so much about Salvadorian culture through our conversations. The students are eager to learn and improve which makes the time spent feel even more worthwhile. It is a wonderful feeling to build those connections and to support these students in their learning, all through something as simple as a conversation. (HT)
CanTeach has provided me with the special and valuable experience of working with a student in a different country. I feel that both he and I are always learning from each other, and my experience working with him has made me a better teacher. (RF)
I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to work with [Salvadoran partner] through CanTeach! Every week we chat and always learn something new. It is quite amazing to see how far Abigail's English has come since our first chat in August! It is so rewarding to see her confidence growing during our conversations. Every week I look forward to sharing stories with her and learning more about her life in El Salvador. One of my favourite things is comparing life in Canada to El Salvador! I recently shared videos of a huge snow storm we had in Ontario! I also like sharing pictures of winter activities and Canadian traditions (i.e. playing hockey and skating). This is such an amazing program for El Salvador students and Canadian teachers, as I feel it is very rewarding. (BF)
Connecting with my CanTeach partner online has been a fantastic experience! Not only is it an easy, low pressure way to support these students, but it is also an opportunity to learn about different cultures and to build a wonderful relationship with your conversation partner. I find that after each conversation, I come away knowing something new about life in El Salvador - something I wouldn't have the opportunity to do otherwise. I started with CanTeach to fulfill school requirements, but have stayed on because of how flexible and meaningful our conversations have become! (HT)
Skype Program Student Impact
The Can-Teach volunteering program has changed the way I see practicing my language skills.
Before I started the conversation practice on Skype I used to think that there was no way to speak to a native in order to have a conversation using real English , not English taken from books or recorded conversations from people who are not even native speakers, but then I realized that technology can play a great role when it comes to getting to know people and even talk to them on real time and the fact of being able to see [the native speaker] is amazing.
But technology can only help you when you have those people available for you, however finding a native speaker is so difficult, that's why I appreciate the hard work that the Can-Teach program is doing to help students from other countries practice their English.
~Christian H. Salvadoran student
I am a retired teacher and an active volunteer in my community. The trip consisted of assisting English teachers at a high school, giving a presentation at the university to students training to be teachers, buying and delivering school supplies to small rural elementary schools, and for the first time announcing that there will be a scholarship awarded to a student for post secondary education in English.
I was very impressed with the eagerness of everyone to learn (better) English.For example; students, who were not in any classes at the high school that we were going to be in, eagerly approached us outside of class, looking for an opportunity to talk to us and practice their English. It seemed everyone realized that their opportunities for better employment was associated with good English speaking skills. Not all the teachers teaching the English programs were that strong in the language either. So the fact that we were able to assist them with pronunciation and new teaching methods and strategies was very important.
After seeing the poor conditions of the rural schools I was especially glad to have the opportunity to help to improve the education of these young students. Delivering the school supplies was good, but I really wished we could have done more.
Of the 4 volunteers that were on that trip, only one was a language teacher. But I think that all of us felt comfortable in our presentations. I look forward to my next trip.
~S.M., Canadian Volunteer in El Salvador English Classroom
t is a pleasure for me to tell you what has made Can-Teach to benefit some of my students:
First of all, it has helped four of them to get their textbook to work in our English class. Also it has helped a boy to get a pair of glasses, his parents are poor and they could not buy them .... He needed a change of glasses since six years ago... so Can-Teach provided the money to buy them. He and his parents are eternally grateful and now he does not have troubles seeing or studying.
It also helped another boy to pay his tickets by the bus to get to school, this young student lives with his mother and his siblings, his mother sell on the streets and it is very difficult for my student come to study.
Also with your visit to our school many students were motivated and involved showing their learning skills in the English language, especially in the area of tourism.
And finally in my personal case, I feel supported and encouraged to learn every day more and teach my students a second language. Can-Teach is a real bless for our school, may God continue to bless your beautiful work!
~Aura, Salvadoran English teacher
A Teacher's Appreciation
Instituto Nacional De San Bartolo, has been blessed to have Can Teach project in our school for many reasons. First of all beacause our students come from the less advantages families in the area, they are struggling economicly and many times do not even have 0,25 cents for the bus fare or to buy something to eat at school, with Can Teach contingency found we have been able to provide them some money for the bus fare and for some food.
Secondly, our students have been motivated to learn the English language in order to be able to communicate with Can Teach members when they visit our school. Its priceless to see their accomplishment face when they are talking to our native speaker visitors. Apart from that, the skype sessions give a plus to their practice because it is not the same to talk face to face to someone than to listen to them and understand them through skype. I feel so proud of them when they tell me; "Miss I skyped with [CanTeach volunteer] and I understood everything she said".
As a third aspect, I would say that Can Teach might not have a wide a idea on how much they are affecting our students in a positive way. Giving a scholarship to continue with University Education has meant a lot to our benefited students and to their families. We have many students with great academic potential but lack of economic resources to go to university, now thanks to Can Teach there are 4 students studying at degrees and soon will be professionals.
As last aspect but not the least I can say that teachers have gotten great input when Can Teach members visit our school. The opportunity to enhance the teaching techniques, improve the English language proficency and enjoy of great company and make new friends is priceless. We thank Betty Ann for not giving up on us and for making the sacrifices it takes to come every year to EL Salvador, knowing that it is not the safest place in the world, acccording to the media.
To conclude I can say, that Can Teach is making a lot of lasting positive changes in the life of Salvadoran people, in which not only students but parents and teachers are being benefited.God bless Can Teach!
~Carolina, Salvadoran English teacher
Being able to talk one-on-one with a high school student who is eager to practice and improve his or her English is a very rewarding experience.
Not only do you come to know a young person as a student but also as a friend, and you learn about a country and a culture that is different from yours. You both discover the many things that you share in common but also have the opportunity to learn about your differences. It truly makes the world seem a much smaller place.
~J.R., Canadian Volunteer via Skype