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English teachers from Panama who honed their teaching skills in Bradford have shared their experiences at a conference in Panama City.
Over the past two years 75 English teachers from the Central American country have taken part in training courses held by Bradford College as part of the international project Panama Bilingüe set up by the Panamanian government to improve English teaching.
Kirstin Sawyer, Head of School for Education and Professional Studies at Bradford College, was reunited with many of the Panamanian visitors when she travelled to the capital of Panama for the Panama Bilingüe Congress.
The conference was attended by 2,000 delegates from across Panama and 50 lecturers from colleges and universities from the UK, Canada and USA.
It was opened by the President Juan Carlos Varela and the Minster for Education Marcela Paredes do Vazquez, indicating how important this project is for Panama; it is the Ministry’s flagship initiative.
Kirstin led a session with the teachers who had been in Bradford to remind them of the techniques taught to teach English. Kirstin said “It was lovely to see the teachers who had attended Bradford College and they had very fond memories of Bradford and the College."
One of the participants said: “This experience changed my life, because I improved my English skills and now I am focussed in sharing and doing my best for my students in order for them to have a better quality of education.”
The Panamanian teachers spent either eight or 16 weeks with Bradford College with the aim of improving their English and teacher training. They worked with the English Language Centre and the primary teacher education team and their feedback has always been very positive.