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English Program

English Program

English Program
Though the local economy is almost entirely based on tourism, the local public schools did little to prepare their students to function in an environment where knowledge of the English language is paramount. As a result, their students were effectively barred from producing in the local economy and from participating in the thriving local job market. Jobs were filled with bus loads of labor imported from outside the local communities. This prompted Peace to start an English language program in the local public schools.
The English language program was first introduced in 2014 at three of the local public ​elementary​ schools (Emiliano Zapata, Corral del Risco and Higuera Blanca) with receptive princip​als who agreed to allow a limited amount of school time for English study. The program rapidly developed, and within a year, was adopted at all of the local schools, including 3 kindergarten, 3 elementary, 2 middle and ​2 high schools. Two hours of English language instruction was a good start and meant progress, but Peace was acutely aware that 2 hours/week were insufficient to achieve proficiency. Therefore, PEACE Executive Director of Peace, Cecilia Paredes, and PEACE Education Supervisor, Ali Elias, with the support of the full PEACE Board, petitioned the Mexican Ministry of Education “SEP” to allow PEACE to teach English 5 hours/week. PEACE’s efforts were hugely successful, and was able to negotiate a signed agreement with SEP. From now on, PEACE will be teaching 5 hours of English at every school in the three communities comprising approximately 1200 students. This was quite a feat and a laudable achievement, as there was resistance at the local school administration level.

Expansion of the English language curriculum required the recruitment of a significant number of teachers, a challenge that was met in short order. PEACE now employs 7 qualified English teachers, all of the teachers attended training workshops to enhance their effectiveness and to make their teaching skills and methods uniform.

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