About We Learn
The We Learn program has the purpose of expanding English learning opportunities since an early age, for children living in touristic areas, through a collaborative model that involves teachers, management teams, supporters and English-speaking professionals.
National and international research shows that students who take English classes from an early age and receive more hours of language teaching reach a better level of English fluency. It is necessary to consider quality elements, such as the number of students per group, the number of hours dedicated to teaching and the teachers’ professional skills (Celik & Karaca, 2014).
Key elements of the program:
Maximizing English interaction in the classroom: Ensuring that all students have the opportunity to communicate in English during the course of the lesson is vital to learning the language. The program provides strategies to enhance communication in English both between teachers and studentes, as well as among the students themselves.
Maximizing the time used for effective communication in English: It is necessary to make the most out of the time allocated for English classes, since it is one of the few contexts where students are exposed to the language. We try to ensure that communication is maintained in English and that every minute of the class is used to reinforce the four language skills in a balanced way: speaking, listening, writing and reading.
Promoting leadership to improve learnings in English: According to international research, school leadership teams are the second most influential factor in student learning, immediately after the teacher and what takes place in the classroom. Principals and pedagogical leaders (UTPs) are key in this process, which is why the program promotes collaborative work with both their teachers as well as their peers from neighboring schools, in order to improve leadership practices and enhance English in their communities.
Increasing English exposure opportunities outside of the classroom: Considering the limited hours of language exposure within the classroom and the importance of involving families and the community in the educational process, we have greatly focused on generating opportunities to use English as a communication tool outside the classroom, allowing students to demonstrate their knowledge to their families and their peers, through artistic or academic performances.
Scope of We Learn for 2020
“I value that my ideas can be tested by other colleagues and that they can provide feedback regarding the changes they have made and the results of their work. Likewise, I also learn from others and pick up ideas. This is most rewarding for me, because it means that my work serves others, and thus, together we can further contribute to the quality of education in Chile.”
Pía Irigoyen, teacher of the Cielo Claro School at Paihuano.
Together We Learn
Together We Learn is a strategy that encompasses:
• An E-learning platform to share resources that have been tested and adjusted during the implementation of the program.
• Face-to-face and virtual interactions to support the teachers’ professional development.
• Face-to-face and virtual interactions to strengthen administrative leadership in the teaching of English in educational institutions.
Scope of Together We Learn for 2020
We Learn Access
Fundación Educacional Oportunidad also implements the We Learn Access Program in the Elqui Valley, as part of a collaboration agreement with the U.S. Embassy in Chile, in order to expand English learning opportunities for high school students with activities framed around 4 areas: astronomy, environmental protection, cultural identity and leadership skills.
The purpose of including these topics within the context of language teaching is to generate meaningful learning experiences for both the students and the community, enhancing the use of English as a communication tool. For example, in early July 2019, the young people who participated in We Learn Access worked as English-speaking tour guides for the foreigners who visited the Elqui Valley to witness the solar eclipse.
This program is conducted with the participation of Beyond English, an institution that has English-speaking support professionals who collaborate with the English teachers in the development of the classes.
In its first class (2018 – 2019), the scholarship program benefited 30 ninth and tenth grade students from the Edmundo Vidal Cardenas School in Vicuña and Liceo Mistraliano in Paihuano, with 360 extracurricular hours of English classes.