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Discursos del Embajador

Conferencia Anual TESOL, Universidad Centroamericana

Septiembre 4, 2008

Buenos días.  Mis sinceras felicitaciones a la Asociación Nicaragüense de Profesores de Inglés, al Ministerio de Educación y a la Universidad Centroamericana por organizar este importante evento, la décimo sexta (16th) Conferencia Anual de Profesores de Inglés de Nicaragua.  Quisiera aprovechar esta conferencia, donde la audiencia tiene buenos conocimientos del idioma inglés, para continuar mis palabras en mi lengua nativa.

Though this is my first time attending the NicaTESOL conference, I am well aware of the value of providing hard-working English teachers throughout Nicaragua new training and materials in English teaching.  I know that for many of you, this will be the only training in English teaching that you will receive at a national level. 

The U.S. Government places a high value on education in Nicaragua, not least in the area of English language learning.  Our support of this conference over the past several years, as well as our support of other English language programs in Nicaragua, demonstrates our commitment to learning and self-improvement among both educators and students.

Thank you, to both the Nicaraguan Association of Professors of English and the Universidad Centroamericana - UCA for being outstanding partners and advocates in our efforts to improve English-language teaching and learning in Nicaragua. 

Together, we have developed several successful programs such as "Books in a Box," which, under the leadership of ANPI and the U.S. Embassy, has enabled more than 1,200 English teachers from the Pacific to the Atlantic Coasts to receive new teaching materials and hands-on training from English professors of ANPI, Fulbright Alumni, Peace Corps Volunteers, and U.S. English Language Fellows.

Another example of our successful collaboration has been in the development of our "College Horizons" program. Together with UCA, ANPI, the Bluefields Indian and Caribbean University, and the Nicaraguan Fulbright Alumni Association, we have been able to offer a two-year English language learning and mentorship program for fourth and fifth year high school students. 

A total of 54 students from various departments in Nicaragua, including the Atlantic Coast, are currently receiving full-day English courses at UCA every Saturday along with academic advising and mentorship.

Programs such as these are not uniquely initiatives of the U.S. government.  Rather, they require the creativity and commitment of your fellow citizens to work closely with the people of the United States.  These programs demonstrate the positive results that can be achieved when our governments and private institutions combine efforts to provide opportunities for all Nicaraguans.

I am also pleased to announce that my government will be offering a new eight-week intensive English language study program for 2009.  In this program, we will engage undergraduate students from disadvantaged sectors who demonstrate strong potential to become student leaders in their communities.  In addition to English language instruction, the participants will also gain insight into American institutions, society and culture.  I hope we can count on the continued cooperation of UCA, ANPI, and our other partner universities to help nominate the very best candidates for this special program.

As we work together to ensure quality English-language teaching and learning in Nicaragua, our hope is that more Nicaraguans will be able to benefit from the U.S. government's various educational scholarships and exchange programs, such as the prestigious Fulbright scholarship and Global UGRAD program for undergraduate students. 

Knowledge of a foreign language is a valuable skill in an increasingly globalized world.  With the implementation of the free trade agreement, CAFTA, in Nicaragua, English will enable many of you and your students to take advantage of new opportunities and ways to improve the quality of life in your communities. 

By taking the time to learn each other’s languages, we also learn more about each other’s cultures, values and ideas—and ultimately, that our societies are more alike than they are different. 

Y yo, por lo menos, considero que me falta bastante estudio todavía para perfeccionar mi español.  Así que, yo sé lo difícil que es aprender otro idioma.  Pero quiero dejarles este mensaje final:  Al comprometerse en la promoción del estudio de inglés, ustedes están contribuyendo para una Nicaragua mejor, y un futuro más promisorio para las generaciones venideras.  Los felicito por su compromiso hacia la enseñanza y el aprendizaje del inglés.  Estoy seguro que seguiremos colaborando para llevar más y mejores oportunidades educativas al pueblo de Nicaragua.