English, the Socially Responsible Way

January 14, 2005

“TOWARD a Socially ResponsiblePedagogy” will be the theme of the 11thNational Conference for Teachers ofEnglish to be held Jan. 26-28 at the CostaRican-North American Cultural Center inSan José.The forum brings together instructorsand experts each year to discuss the newestmethods, techniques and strategies in thefield of teaching English as a second language.The center, the U.S. Embassy andthe Ministry of Public Education sponsorthe conference.“A socially responsible approach toteaching English takes into account theneeds of the community,” Ángel Bonilla,one of the conference organizers, told TheTico Times.A one-size-fits-all method has alwaysbeen way too common in the field, he said.The historical shift over the years hasbeen from a grammar-translation methodof learning the language, which equips studentsto translate English text into Spanishbut little more, to an audio-lingualapproach, which drills students in “correct”pronunciation.“That’s the ‘Speak just like anAmerican’ method,” Bonilla said, addingthat it still falls far short of giving studentsthe tools to carry on a conversation.In vogue today is a communicativeapproach that allows students to deal withreal-life situations.Bonilla has attended classes where studentswere asked to discuss the theme:“What would you do if you were King ofEngland?”“Who in the campo is ever going to bethe King of England?” he asked.Bonilla suggested a more realistic topicmight be a conversation about how toapply for a job at Condovac, a resort complexin the northwestern province ofGuanacaste.Some 550 participants are expectedthis year, and will come from Mexico,Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador,Panama and Venezuela.The conference takes place at the mainbranch of the Costa Rican-North AmericanCultural Center on Calle 37 in Barrio Dent.Registration fees for participants are¢16,500 ($36) until Jan. 17; ¢17,500 ($39)after Jan. 17. For more info, call 207-7527.

You may be interested

Of snow, kindness and Northern Lights: a Costa Rican in Manitoba, Canada
Please Send Coffee!
982 views
Please Send Coffee!
982 views

Of snow, kindness and Northern Lights: a Costa Rican in Manitoba, Canada

Gustavo Díaz Cruz - December 14, 2017

My mom named me Gustavo Adolfo. I was born in Puntarenas, next to the sea, but my home was in…

Response to disaster: aid successes, struggles in post-Maria Puerto Rico
Weather
1023 views
Weather
1023 views

Response to disaster: aid successes, struggles in post-Maria Puerto Rico

John McPhaul - December 13, 2017

As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the horrendous 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact
Weather
1964 views
Weather
1964 views

Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impact

John McPhaul - December 12, 2017

As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the devastating 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…