Panamanians complete 'English for Life' program
Contact: Rene Abadie
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PANAMANIAN TEACHERS AT SOUTHEASTERN – Southeastern Louisiana University Interim President John L. Crain, left, addresses the 22-member class of Panamanian educators on campus participating in the English for Life program designed to facilitate and improve educational opportunities for the teachers. Observing are Eric Meadows, center, instructor with the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, and Aristides Baraya, director of the College of Business Latin American Business and Development Initiative.
HAMMOND – After four weeks of intensive study of the English language at Southeastern Louisiana University, 22 teachers from the Republic of Panama graduate this week in a new program called English for Life.
The comprehensive program, which is being conducted over four weeks in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature Lab, also offers participants opportunities to meet and interact with Louisiana educational leaders, school system administrators and students.
Interim President John L. Crain said this was the first of several such programs that will be conducted for Panamanian educators over the next two years.
“It provides a valuable opportunity for these teachers of English to become immersed in the language and culture of our nation, which they will use in teaching students in their native country,” he said. “It is also a great cultural exchange program for our own instructors and students.”
“The government of Panama is funding and supporting this program enthusiastically,” said Aristides Baraya, director of the Southeastern College of Business Latin American Business and Development Initiative, which coordinates the program. “They recognize that their high school graduates who are fluent in English have much greater employment opportunities than citizens who are limited by only their native language of Spanish.”
The program represents a collaborative effort involving Southeastern, the Panamanian Government, and the Universidad Latina of Panama. In addition to the Latin American Business and Development Initiative, the program involves personnel from the Division of Continuing Education and Special Activities, the College of Education and Human Development and the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.