Universitys English Language Teaching Unit represented at Panama Bilingue Congress

Last week, Luke Timms from the English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) visited Panama primarily to attend the Panama Bilingue Congress, but also to visit some local schools and represent the University at a scholarship fair.

The congress was attended by over two thousand Panamanian English Language Teachers who have been on teacher training programs in the UK, Canada, and the USA.

In January 2016 and 2017 two groups of twenty teachers visited Leicester for a period of eight weeks in the last two years. Their programme was a mixture of language and training classes alongside school visits and trips to local and national places of interest.

The Congress was an opportunity to reunite with the teachers who had visited Leicester and to reinforce and refresh some of the key concepts covered in the 8-week course.

Luke commented that: “Spending time with Panamanian teachers in their schools was a great experience from both a personal and professional point of view. It is something that I will never forget.”

This, combined with the visit to local schools (where he was accompanied by two teachers who visited Leicester), offered him a great opportunity to experience the Panamanian context of English Language Teaching first-hand and the information he gathered and the experiences he had will help the ELTU to further refine and hone the courses offered for future participants of the Panama Bilingue program.

Director of ELTU, Phil Horspool said: “The Panamanian teachers that come and study with us have really added to our programmes in the last two years and change the atmosphere of the classes and the building whilst here.

“Students from other countries seem to really enjoy having them in their classes.  Luke’s visit was a great opportunity for him to see first-hand how they were putting their learning into context and get a real feel for the challenges faced by teachers in Panama.”