Costa Rican Government Makes Teaching of English as a Second Language a Priority in Education

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President Carlos Alvarado presented today the Alliance for Bilingualism (ABi) as a national strategy to significantly increase the coverage of the English teaching in Costa Rica.

This alliance will work as the action frame that will link together the plans of several public institutions such as the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications, among others and the support of the private sector to promote and guarantee the success of the strategy.

“The challenge is to create a true inter-sector alliance to extend the command of English and other languages as politic of the state, that ensures opportunities of universal access to inhabitants of all ages and different territories”, expressed President Alvarado.

Andre Garnier, Minister of Linkage to the Corporate Sector, explained that the first joint initiatives will begin in a month time when the complete strategy design is complete, the same will be published in November.

“We have been working since May in the design of initiatives that will mark the beginning of the Alliance’s work to achieve a historical change in the formation of our population, recognizing the command of English as a tool that opens new opportunities, employability and economic reactivation”, explained Garnier.

The institutions and Ministries will be implementing 6 initiatives immediately with the objective to have the first results in a 12 month frame; this include advancing in the first stage of universalization of the teaching of English in preschool, covering approximately 125 thousand students; the application of a placement tool to 10 thousand students of technical high-schools, international baccalaureate, scientific high-schools and academic high-schools in the country; the implementation of certification English as a foreign language tests enrolled in the bachillerato tests in the 2019-2020 period, reaching an approximate 180 thousand by 2022; certify the levels of entry and conclusion with international standard (BELT and TOEIC) for all students of the English Programs of the National Learning Institute (INA); diagnosis and certification tests for 223 English teachers of INA that allows to elevate the quality and pertinence of their teaching.

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