Local February 15, 2021 | 2:08 pm

Teachers support bill to make English a second language in the DR

Congresswoman Servia Iris Familia


The Association of English Teachers of the Dominican Republic (DRTESOL) expressed the country’s English teachers’ support for the proposed law on English as a second language, submitted by Congresswoman Servia Iris Familia, which seeks to guarantee that students in public schools learn English from childhood.

The guild of professionals in the area expressed that this law would serve as a legal framework that guarantees the attention that this subject deserves in the public school system and a frame of reference to follow up on the effective execution of the curriculum of the area, which has not been achieved in the 60 years of curricular presence of this subject.

Specialists in the area maintain that it is impossible to speak of educational quality without achieving English learning in the school. Unfortunately, the subject of English is handled, in public education, as a decorative component of the school curriculum.

The teachers maintain that the current state of English in public schools is that of a simulation, which costs billions of pesos annually to the educational budget, which demoralizes teachers in the area, and discourages and frustrates Dominican students.

They explained that English teachers had been summoned to workshops and training for years that bear no relation to the Dominican school reality. They are even required to execute a curricular content, which does not correspond to the previous knowledge of each grade’s students, leaving aside the nature of language learning and ignoring the Dominican socio-educational reality.

The professional association maintains that it has 13 years of educational research and has proposed to the country’s teacher training authorities the implementation of a school-centered teacher training strategy, which seeks to promote a set of diverse initiatives, rooted in the Dominican social and school reality, in the real teaching-learning problems of the area, in the daily school practices and in the particular ways of doing school in the Dominican Republic.

The teachers declared that they are united nationally around this proposal and expect to be heard and promptly attended.

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