One of GVI’s primary initiatives in Quepos is the English program. Although Costa Rica has an incredibly high literacy rate, literacy is not enough to guarantee future success for these children. In a country dominated and fueled by tourism, the ability to speak English is crucial to Costa Ricans’ job prospects. With this in mind, GVI Quepos runs English programs in both of our communities – Boca Vieja and El Cocal.
Boca Vieja, although our newest community, has a slightly more established curriculum; largely due to the fact that the school schedule is more regular, which allows for a higher level of consistency in learning. El Cocal, however, has historically been a bit more inconsistent, which is why the team in Quepos has focused much of its energy on this issue in the past several months. We are happy to report that these efforts have paid off!
By implementing a program in which we take the five best students from each English class, and give them more concentrated teaching by native English speakers, the local teachers have seen a marked increase in those students’ learning. Due to these efforts, two things have happened. The local English teacher has asked our volunteers to come in to his classroom and lead the class with his support. This is an incredible milestone because it means that when the local English teacher is unable to attend school due to other obligations, our volunteers will know where the students are in the curriculum, and be prepared to lead the class without the local teacher, thereby increasing the students’ class time – giving them that consistency needed for continuous learning. Additionally, our 6th grade teacher has asked us to give her class English lessons outside of school hours to better prepare them for graduation. These lessons have always been available to the students, but now they are coming on a regular basis, thanks to the buy in and active support of the local teacher.
All in all, some major steps were made this month towards greatly improving the childrens’ options upon graduating from school and entering the job market. To stay updated on our adventures please take a look at our blog at Costa Rica blog.