The Costa Rican educational system currently finds itself in a fragile state given its unresolved structural problems, which date back to years prior to 2018. Since then, these problems have been aggravated by distinct forces: union strikes, teacher strikes and the pandemic. The State of Education (Program Estado de la Nación, 2021) catalogues this crisis as the worst in the recent decades, branding it an
educational shut down. This emergency has affected all three levels of the Costa Rican educational system: primary, secondary, and diversified.
As a result of this situation, the weaknesses and needs of the teaching population are not only evident, but are considered a crucial and strategic point in the resurrection of the Costa Rican educational system.
Particularly, in what corresponds to language teaching, the Ministry of Public Education, in conjunction with the University of Costa Rica, carried out a linguistic proficiency exam with a sampling of 6,000 primary level students and 73,000 secondary level students. The results show that, despite having an improvement in comparison to the exam executed in 2019, knowledge of the English language is still lower than the expected outcomes according to the level descriptions set forth by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, which are implemented in MEP programs . For example, 64% of the students in their last year of public academic secondary school placed in beginning and elementary levels (A1 y A2) .
Due to the educational shutdown, it is fundamental to facilitate academic spaces of knowledge that merge towards creating change through the strengthening of significant and transforming best practices in the field of teaching English as a foreign language. With a holistic and innovative approach, in pursuit of generating meaningful change, the IV English Teaching Congress will address the use of technology, contextualize the educational status of the Huetar Northern Region and remedy the educational lag taking place in local institutions.
To contribute to the professional development of English teachers in the Huetar Northern Region through the improvement of educational practices based on the exchange of pertinent and effective pedagogical experiences and the use of innovative tools in the teaching and learning process of English as a foreign language.
To constitute a space for academic reference in regard to trainings, pedagogical innovations, collaboration and feedback, which effectively contribute to the teaching and learning process of English as a foreign language for English teachers in the Huetar Northern Region.
To consolidate academic spaces for the strengthening of effective pedagogical practices in the teaching of English as a foreign language through established partnerships and collaborative networks for the economic, socio-educational and cultural development of the Huetar Northern Region of Costa Rica.
To establish collaborative networks and academic exchanges between teachers from different educational institutions in the Huetar Northern Region of Costa Rica.
To consolidate strategic alliances between educational institutions in the Huetar Northern Region of Costa Rica to strengthen the teaching and learning processes of English as a foreign language.
To provide effective pedagogical tools to English teachers in the Huetar Northern Region of Costa Rica to strengthen the teaching and learning processes of English as a foreign language.
To incentivize the creation of strategies to address the educational lag as a result of the “educational shutdown” from the last few years.
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