Georgetown University, the administrator of the English Language Programs, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Chilean Ministry of Education to fund five additional English Language Fellows in Chile. The signing occurred during Chilean President Michelle Bachelet’s visit to Washington, DC.
The Fellows funded under this MOU will work on Chile’s English Opens Doors Program, which was created in 2003 by the Chilean Ministry of Education. The program formulates public policy and applies technical expertise to improve English language teaching in Chile, making quality English language instruction more accessible to all school-aged children. Since its inception, the program has organized professional development courses designed to help teachers improve their teaching practices, funded scholarships for teachers to attend methodology courses both at home and abroad, and created a national network of English language teachers which includes more than 150 chapters and 2,500 members.The U.S. Department of State’s English Language Fellow Program sends highly trained and talented teachers of English as a second language (TESOL) professionals to countries around the world to support U.S. Embassy education initiatives and promote cross-cultural understanding. Funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered through a cooperative agreement with Georgetown University’s Center for Intercultural Education and Development, the program currently supports approximately 140 Fellows in 60 countries around the world.
The five Fellows will constitute a network of highly trained and experienced instructors of English as a second language. One of these five, designated as the coordinator, will become an active member of the English Opens Doors Program Pedagogical Committee. This coordinator will work directly with Ministry of Education officials to design a 10-month training plan which will be implemented by the remaining Fellows at Regional Ministry of Education offices around the country.
Georgetown’s Associate Vice President for Federal Relations Scott S. Fleming commented after the signing that “The impact of this cooperative initiative—involving the Government of Chile, the U.S. Department of State, and Georgetown University—will put programs in place that empower teacher trainers, develop teachers’ skills, and, ultimately, improve the English language capacity of students throughout Chile, which will benefit them in the future and strengthen ties between our two democracies.”
The English Language Programs is a U.S. Department of State public diplomacy initiative that sends highly trained and qualified TESOL professionals to work at academic institutions around the world. Program participants teach English, train teachers, develop academic and cultural programs, and much more.