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SJF stages expanded CSEC Spanish orals workshops

CSEC cheque handover: Josep Bosch, Spanish Jamaica Foundation president, and Patricia Mumby Lalor from the Ministry of Education pose with students at the the Sam Sharpe Teachers’ College.

Kareem LaTouche, Youthlink Coordinator

The Spanish-Jamaican Foundation (SJF) recently partnered with the Ministry of Education and the National Association of Spanish Teachers (ANPE) to stage Spanish Immersion Days in Kingston, St James, Manchester and Clarendon, targeting students sitting the upcoming Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Spanish exams. These informative question-and-answer sessions saw native speakers interacting with students in practical conversational scenarios to bolster their oral skills as they prepare for what is traditionally the most challenging aspect of the exam.

This was the seventh staging of the activity, which initially began in Kingston with 150 participating students. This year, the interactive, exciting and dynamic CSEC orals workshops saw over 1,300 students practising with native speakers, trained CSEC teachers and preservice teachers.

In Kingston, the SJF had the support of eight missions of Spanish-speaking countries: Spain, the Dominican Republic, Argentina, Ecuador, Mexico, Cuba, Panama and Venezuela. Students visited the booths of each participating country, where they interacted with embassy representatives and had their ‘passports’ stamped. The booths showcased pertinent facts about each country, and many left with novelty items provided by the diplomats.

State Minister Alando Terrelonge, during his tour of the booths, encouraged students to learn the language, using examples drawn from his own experiences in Spain. He especially noted that learning a language enhances visits to foreign countries that speak that language and that it is his wish and that of the prime minister that Jamaican students learn Spanish as a second language.

In St James, the president of the SJF, His Excellency Josep Bosch, noted the importance of learning Spanish and took the opportunity to hand over a cheque valued at over J$1,450,000 to students present. This cheque represented payment of the oral examination fees for the 933 students from the Ministry of Education’s regions 3 and 4 sitting the exam later this month.

The SJF, founded in 2006, is a collaborative effort of a number of Spanish companies with current investments in Jamaica. The main objective is to strengthen the friendship between Spain and Jamaica. The SJF stages and supports educational, cultural, and community, development initiatives, and support for the teaching and learning of Spanish is one of its priority areas of focus.

The event this year was made possible by the very generous sponsorship of the Seprod Foundation, with additional support from Lasco Manufacturing Limited, Wisynco Group Limited, and the Jamaica Biscuit Company Limited.

For further information, please contact SJF project manager Vanessa Meggoe at 764 0068 or projectmanager.spjf@gmail.com.

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