The main building at Safe Passage is a flurry of activity as students line up outside to collect school supplies. Classroom teachers lovingly decorate their classrooms, and volunteers prepare materials for the upcoming school year.In the English Program, we’ve been busy putting the final touches on our new English curriculum, which will be implemented in the first week of February. Over the past year, we’ve collaborated with volunteers and staff from other educational NGOs to develop a culturally sensitive and relevant curriculum for the students at Safe Passage.
The new curriculum will contextualize grammar and vocabulary concepts within thematic units relevant to the Camino Seguro community. Each unit will have five weeks of instruction followed by a week of review when students will work on a project that applies the English skills they have learned over the course of the unit. All of the English teachers in the main building will follow the same themes, which will allow our team to share lesson plans and ideas more easily.
In preparing the curriculum, we took into account the need to reinforce both practical math skills as well as the importance of health and hygiene, and we dedicated a 6-week unit to each topic. We also recognized the need to support the older students in developing professional skills and etiquette. For these students, we’ve developed a unit where they will identify professional skills and goals while developing a resume in English that they can later give to potential employers. The last unit of the year for the older students will focus describing their urban community in English. Our chilero (cool) teachers will be leading classes on breakdancing, graffiti, reggaeton music, and more.
Overall, we hope that the curriculum will provide continuity and context to English classes at Safe Passage and provide our students with relevant vocabulary so that they can truly express themselves in English.
English Program Director