YACHAY TECH, UNAE AND THE U.S. EMBASSY JOIN FORCES IN COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PROJECTS FOR INNOVATION IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING
The United States Embassy, in collaboration with Yachay Tech University and the National University of Education – UNAE, held the event “Promoting Urban Agriculture in Schools and Home Backyards through the PBL Approach in English Classes” in the city of Urcuquí, with the goal of coordinating joint actions for the benefit of the academic community.
The event was attended by prominent representatives of both universities and the Embassy of the United States. The authorities included Andrés Rosales, Rector of Yachay Tech, Judith Vanegas, Academic Vice Rector, Anna Casey, Coordinator of the English Program of the Embassy of the United States, Hazel Acosta, Professor of the National University of Education, David Casco, ELP Teacher of Yachay Tech, and students and teachers from the Yachay Millennium Educational Unit.
The proposed program, titled “Promoting Urban Agriculture in Schools and Home Backyards through the PBL Approach in English Classes”, aims to innovate English teaching. This PBL approach allows teachers to initiate projects that increase student and parent awareness of the value of agriculture in local schools and homes.
The main objectives of the project “The Huerto Classroom” include the facilitation of a comprehensive program of continuous development for English teachers in the integration of language and environmental content, the development of instructional videos that provide information and practical advice on agricultural activities and plant cultivation, and increasing students’ exposure to English through project involvement.
Andrés Rosales, Rector of Yachay Tech, highlighted the collaboration between the US Embassy and local universities for the benefit of the academic community and the educational units of the canton, all focused on agricultural projects learning the English language.
Hazel Acosta, a professor at the National University of Education and a scholar from the United States Department of State, highlighted that this project focuses on building professional skills through sustainable training for teachers in the sector.
Anna Casey, Coordinator of the English Program of the US Embassy, highlighted the excellent work that is being carried out in the project in collaboration with the English teachers of Yachay Tech and the schools of the Urcuquí canton. In addition, she stated that through project-based-learning – PBL the number of hours of English classes in the canton’s public schools has increased and this has had an impact on the communities. This has made it possible to increase the hours of English per week, including urban agriculture and food production in homes.
During the event, the participating students from the Yachay Educational Unit presented their projects in a cycle of workshops organized by the Yachay Tech Language Department and the English program of the United States Embassy, who awarded certificates of participation to the speakers and the attendees for teaching their urban agriculture projects in English.
Yachay Tech University continues to work hard in generating strategic alliances with international entities to strengthen its academic community.