Beginning in the current (2016–17) school year, primary-school children, who started on 5 September, have three hours of English a week. The move to more primary-school English was approved in 2014, while the policy aims to see all students attaining CEFR A1-level proficiency in English language by the time they are aged eleven. The plan also includes teachers reaching B2 in English, with students attaining B1 by the time they leave high school.
The Andean nation of Ecuador currently has 8,400 EFL teachers, but it needs more before the new stage of its English language policy begins in May 2017. Minister of education Augusto Espinosa stated that the government sees providing equal opportunities in education as the best way to combat poverty. The country seeks to extend access to education at all levels, El País reported.
According to the British Council, the ‘greatest barriers to English language learning are a lack of access to government-funded programmes and the high cost of study’. The minister said that the government will hire foreign ELT teachers and the country will see the first results of the new school curriculum by 2020.
Pic courtesy: Paul Stein