Panamanian teachers showcase new ESL learning methods

The teachers have been in Kamloops since January as part of an eight-week ESL program

The session, which was held last Friday, focused on engaging ways to teach students despite having limited resources. Such methods included word games, songs, storytelling and even acting. (Juan Cabrejo/The Omega)

Teachers from Panama have been brought to TRU as part of an eight-week program to learn new English teaching methods and had the opportunity to showcase them through a poster session.

The session was held last Friday, focusing on engaging ways to teach students despite having limited resources, such as word games, songs, storytelling, or even acting. The intention is for these teachers to adopt these ESL teaching methods and apply them in their respective classrooms back home. The teachers have been in Kamloops since January and have two weeks remaining in the course.

More than 5 thousand Panamanian teachers have been sent to English speaking countries around the world through a Panamanian Government program known as “Panamá Bilingüe,” and approximately 300 public schools in Panamá will be part of this English teaching reform.

Instructor Lori Burns was responsible for directing the core ESL course and has seen their improvement.

“They were really nervous when they first got here, but I see them now and I say ‘Wow’,” she said. “The poster session was part of their class project; it’s just a way for them to interact with native English speakers.”

Before arriving to Kamloops, none of the teachers previously knew each other; nevertheless, there was a strong presence of community. They were all very approachable and willing to share about their home regions and pride for their classrooms.

A public vote was placed to add a sense of competition and determine the favourite poster booth. The winner would win a prize all in good fun.