WALTHAM, MA | April 29, 2014
The Ministry of Education of Colombia has awarded EDC a contract to help enhance English language learning for students in 250 schools across the country. As part of the initiative English for Colombia (ECO), EDC will evaluate and implement a series of interactive radio programs that provide English as a foreign language instruction to first, second, and third graders. The programs were initially produced by Colombia’s Universidad del Norte.
ECO is an audio program that can be implemented by classroom instructors, who do not need to be proficient in English themselves. The program requires only a compact disc player and a set of CDs, which contain 90 audio lessons of 30 minutes each. The lessons use drama, songs, games, and more to help students meet level A1, the most basic level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The program includes accompanying posters and teacher guides. All programs and materials are available free on the Ministry’s website.
ECO builds on EDC’s experience with interactive audio instruction, which has enabled more than 40 million people worldwide to learn English. The program is designed especially for use in Colombia and costs a fraction of traditional and online instruction options. ECO can be used by both students enrolled in school and by out-of-school youth. It also promotes teacher professional development.
“The various departments involved in the project are enthusiastic about the programs because they do not require highly trained English teachers, and they are very low cost to implement,” said EDC’s Kit Yasin. “We are so pleased to be working with the Ministry of Education on this program.”
EDC will conduct workshops with teachers in rural schools in the regions of Cesar, Meta, Norte de Santander, Valle del Cauca, Tolima, Boyaca, and Cartagena. EDC is working with a local Peace Corps volunteer to evaluate the program’s effectiveness. Funding for the programs comes from the Ministry of Education and the World Bank.
Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), designs, implements, and evaluates programs to improve education, health, and economic opportunity worldwide. EDC manages 250 projects in 30 countries. Visit www.edc.org.