Students achieve global reading, writing, listening and speaking skills, learning strategies, a strong sense of history and identity, as well as analytical and reflexive outlooks, and an appropriately-timed foundation in English to set them up for success in secondary and higher education, professionally and personally.
The Education Program provides literacy instruction throughout each school year to ARP’s partner schools, which are rural and under-served. This teaching initiative grew out of TEFL, the foundation of the Arajuno Road Project. We now bring volunteer teachers with solid Spanish-English skills (Kichwa a plus!) and an interest in education and related fields into ARP’s partner schools to assist local teachers and bring a new dynamic way of learning into the classrooms. In Ecuador, bilingual-intercultural education, which maintains native languages and cultures is a reality for some indigenous communities. However, many children continue to attend schools which are not equipped to provide additive bilingual education or harness the strengths of a multi-lingual and multi-cultural population. As a result, many students lag in reading, writing, and communication skills in native languages and in Spanish (the language of instruction and business- although Kichwa is now recognized as an official national language as well).
Our methodology is focused on providing quality literacy and language education through engagement with texts, projects and real-world experiences that foster exploration of each student’s identity. Although Spanish is the language of instruction, the program applies techniques from the field of teaching and learning second languages, in which students are encouraged to use and share native languages, customs, stories and world-views in the classroom and for the enrichment of the broader community. In keeping with the second language perspective, the structures and uses of Spanish are made explicit in ways that support mastery. Finally, English is introduced incrementally depending on student readiness as part of an additive bilingualism approach.
Education Program volunteers receive intensive training and mentorship in children’s literature, literacy development, the needs of multicultural students, classroom management and lesson planning, as well as critical perspectives and the historical roots of ‘teaching abroad’ and Global English. Coordinators support volunteer teachers and provide ongoing training with a focus on developing reflective teaching practices.
We are always in need of quality children’s literature which is complex, expansive, beautifully illustrated, captivating, whose protagonists look like our students and whose stories draw upon the traditions and experiences of indigenous peoples. Please contact us if you would like to send us books from our wish-list, to donate children’s books for our library at the Community Center, or to donate money to support the Education Program.
Arajuno Road Project – One World Classroom Skype Exchange
If you would like to help support this program, visit our ‘Get Involved’ webpage for more information.