The English projects

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This project began in summer 2010. Supporting Guasa has developed two English teaching projects to cover most of the academic year which you can read about below.

Why English?

As there is little industry in Ramón Santana, many residents seek employment outside the municipality in order to earn a living. Ramón Santana’s relatively close location to the capital, Santo Domingo, and two of the most famous tourist destinations of the country, Punta Cana and Bávaro, mean that many residents travel to these areas to seek employment.

Nearly two thirds of the Dominican population work in the service sector and knowing English is of the utmost importance for those who want to work in tourism. Furthermore, the Dominican Republic’s economy is strongly tied to the United States’ and as the world becomes increasingly globalized, the need for a working knowledge of English is increasing in other sectors of the economy as well.

However, the few high quality English programs that exist in the area are often very expensive. English is taught in local schools but the lessons are often overcrowded and the teachers overstretched and under-resourced which means that few students truly reach their true potential from their lessons.

La Escuela de Verano – The Summer School

With this in mind, our firstimage-35 project was a free English summer school for the children, adults and teenagers of Ramón Santana. During the summer of 2010, when Siân and Cicilia went to the village to start up the project and give a summer course in English. The project was very well received in the village and even more so in the rural batey La Balsa just outside of the village. Since then, the project has gone from strength to strength and is currently being repeated on a yearly basis in the village and across various bateyes including: Margarita, La Balsa, Olivares, Lima, Campina and Paso del Medio.

Programa de Primavera y Otoño – Spring and Fall Program

This program complements the summer school and provides a means of reinforcinCaptureg and adding to the summer’s work. Although the students do learn well during the summer school we realise that to have a veritable impact, these projects must take place more consistently.

It is for this reason we have come to an agreement with the local community to send a volunteer into the schools of the municipality. The role of the volunteer, a native English speaker, is to meet and work with the local staff in order to give English lessons in the high school to students from all areas of the municipality and previous volunteers. Volunteers have taught in both the village primary and high schools as well as primary schools in the batey communities.

Curriculum Development – English projects

We recognise the value of institutional knowledge and we are increasing the focus on ensuring our volunteers leave re-usable resources behind for the benefit of future volunteers. For our school-based projects, efforts will be made to share resources and knowledge with Dominican teaching professionals.

 

Volunteer with the English summer school Go! or the spring/fall project Go!