English for Everybody - Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia

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Introduction: English for everybody

The new Educational Law to be approved in the next 2 or 3 months, states that all schools will have to teach 3 Languages (Spanish, an originary language (Guarani in our case) and another foreign language - (English is the most commonly used).To help students from Fiscal Schools (approximately 300 000),we are going to develop a curriculum for them to learn English with the help of XOs and hopefully to use this program to teach other languages (to start with Guarani for example). We hope this project will assist language learners worldwide.

Project Details

Project Location: Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia
Number of You Request to Borrow: 10 (ten) to begin, until the project is tested and ready.
Loan Length—How Many Months: 12 months

Team Participants

Team leader: Mario Alberto Olivares Mederos
email: olivares45@gmail.com
olivares45@hotmail.com
Employer: On Line Center


Ms. Ana Carola Alvestegui Alexander –
email: carolaalvestegui@hotmail.com
anacalvestegui@gmail.com

Past experience: Both with a vast experience in teaching English as a foreign language to children, adolescents and adults. During the past 4 years, Ms. Carola has intensified English language teaching classes, while Mr. Mario is fully dedicated to tutoring in English, Math, Social Studies, Geography, History and Business, preparing students for University of Cambridge International Examinations.


Objectives:

Project Objectives: Since we are teachers and not computer experts, programming our courses will take at least a year. After that and if we are successful, we will start courses on other subjects.

Why English? The Bolivian government announced two days ago, the new teaching program for Bolivia. (This government is a Socialist-Indigenous supporter and is very strong now).

All schools in Bolivia will have to change all history books as “liberal” heroes will be eliminated, replacing them with indigenous martyrs and every school will have to teach 3 languages: Spanish, an indigenous “originary” language (guarani for this region) and another foreign language, preferably English. Laptops will be of great help as we can show many other things than through a conventional lesson. If in the future we can buy a projector, it will close our idea of future teaching by being able to show films, videos, etc.

We have been contacted by people who represent the future local authorities in order to know more about our project and we have full support from whoever wins.


Plan of Action

Our plans are to develop a curriculum using Sugar Activities and the XO for an English Course for Primary, Middle and High School students. We will practice all the time with the private students we already have until we are certain it works properly. This will take approximately one year and after that we will request more Laptops according to the gradual increase of students and teachers. There are more than 200,000 students in government schools here in Santa Cruz. After that, this program will be available to all Bolivian students and to all Spanish speaking countries.


Needs

Learning English has always been needed in this poor country and now with more emphasis as, by law, students will have to learn English .

We believe this will insert more Bolivians into the modernized world, thus eliminating present inequalities.

We are requesting only 10 laptops to start as we plan to work for nearly a whole year developing our curriculum and adapting our courses to the Laptops. Rebuilt Laptops we believe will be fine, if they work properly.


Sharing Deliverables

We intend to constantly report our progress (pros and cons) through email or where OCPC wishes us to do it. If our program works properly, can benefit a lot of children throughout the world. We are still trying to get in touch with other groups doing similar work so that we can learn from their experiences.


Quality/Mentoring

Anything that adds to our project will be appreciated, even critics or corrections. Maybe in the future somebody can come up with an improved method or system and we are all going to benefit from these findings. Since we are going to offer our project to local authorities at the beginning, we hope they are going to take the necessary steps in order to put our project to work.

An experienced mentor from the OCPC/Sugar community will be of great help for us. For instance we need help now in learning how to work in the classrooms with XO laptops in different subjects.


Timeline

First 10 months
We will be working during, at least, the first 10 months on developing and testing curriculum with our private students, so when we get to start at state schools, we will be ready and have no objections or at least very few.
After first 10 months
We will begin training classroom teachers in working with the laptops, explaining to them that this system is will help them to improve their teaching skills and the students’ learning abilities.
Ongoing
After this, it will be a lifetime project, hopefully. Finally, we agree to pass the laptops to a local OCPC group or other interested contributors in case we do not have need for the laptops anymore or in case our project progress stalls.
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