A digital literacy Spanish Program for bilingual communities
A digital literacy Spanish Program will make education inclusive for bilingual communities to achieve better education and job opportunities
Pitch us on your solution
According the UNESCO approach, Education must be inclusive for all people. In a multicultural country like Ecuador is, bilingual communities still face a problem in the second language acquisition. Therefore, using technology-enabled to reach farther communities through a digital literacy program to teach Spanish as a second language will improve not only the teaching-learning process, but also the knowledge of other subjects. Besides, a digital learning process will develop the student’s meta-cognitive strategies as well as their encyclopedic ones to improve their education. A mixed methodology will be adopted in a project like this to prove its efficacy and to measure the learning process of a second language of the researched public (bilingual teachers and students). This proposal demands the design of a syllabus according to the requirements of an international Spanish accreditation, in order to prove the program and replicate it in other communities and counties of the Region.
What is the problem you are solving?
Bilingual teachers and students present problems in the use of L2, Spanish. In addition, some schoolteachers expressed the need to improve Spanish to teach their own native language to future students, since nowadays it is getting lost. Similarly, bilingual students at the university expressed the same need due the requirements they face to be admitted at the universities. This is evident from the minimum percentage of indigenous population in Higher education, for example in Ecuador. Mato (2015) asserts that the educational policies of High Education must consider the recovery and the transmission of knowledge for the access of indigenous people to our universities, which implies the improvement of Spanish in bilingual population.
According to Cuji (cited in Mato, 2015), Ecuador has 14,483,499 inhabitants; by self-identification, o3% are indigenous and the student population represents 57%. If the number of potential students of Kichwa nationality was 17, 897 (2010 census), then the only 10% of the indigenous population attended the university. Then, Is it important to prepare and evaluate the knowledge of Spanish in teachers and bilingual students? To improve their Spanish will help them to have access to the universities? Could they have a great achievement through an online course?
Who are you serving?
I have researched in a Bilingual Kichwa-Spanish community in my country and I have noticed their second language needs to be improved in teachers as well in students who come to study a career in the university. The idea to support the reading and writing process throughout a digital literacy program directed to bilingual teachers in order to develop the communicative skills is to provide them the tools to teach their children to communicate in a better way.too. Besides a previous interview was applied to students-teachers in 2018 to search the real necessity they have to improve their Spanish, and most of them agreed with the idea of having an online course since the places they work are located faraway from the cities, in rural areas.
What is your solution?
The idea of creating a digital literacy program that provide an online course to support and reach different communities all over the county will be set on a project to create a course to change the reality and the social image they face as teachers and students who come to class and still face a lot of problems using the second language. This project can be proved and replicated in some other communities, in order to share this solution with other countries.
It is intended to achieve effectiveness both in the development of the course and the production of reading and writing materials designed on the web 2.0. The measuring instrument for it will be an exam that meets the parameter evaluation of the Spanish language. In this way the language an its qualification will also be inclusive for native speakers from other languages who use Spanish as an L2. In addition, a greater impact will be achieved by replicating this project in other bilingual communities, so that the teacher and students who come from bilingual rural communities will have access to the universities of the country.
Besides, a research program will be the main objective to prove effectiveness or to detect the problems that could occur during the process of teaching,in that way the courser will be improved too, after the first year.
The idea is to find technological support from national or international universities to create an online program. The results will be analyzed and constantly edited to obtain a good product to patent and continuing working, in that way the teachers mentality will be also changed about the concept of learning using this tool, so they will also be able to apply the same technology with their students to transmit their culture and knowledge through the new language to recover some cultural aspects they usually teach in their native language.
The production of some didactic material through the media will be the product they show to be applied with their students during the learning process. in this way the course will motivate them to develop some other skills they will also use in the teaching process of a new language.
In this way the contribution to solve a problem in our communities who face still big problems of education will be in accordance with the UNESCO approach, to make Education inclusive for all people.
Select only the most relevant.
Where our solution team is headquartered or located:Cuenca, Ecuador
Our solution's stage of development:
Describe what makes your solution innovative.
This solution will innovate a new way to improve education and reach communities where people do not have the possibility or opportunities to improve their second language acquisition. The program will also provide teachers the possibility to innovate the material they can recover from their culture in order to work didactic material using the web tools to apply the technological knowledge they acquired in order to use it with their students at school, replicating the knowledge of the language. Improving the reading and writing skills will also be useful for teachers, since they give them the possibility to innovate the material they design for their classes. On the other hand, having a new way in order to teach Spanish (L2) to the bilingual communities, could also be a solution not only for this country but also a program to be modeled by other similar communities that still face problems of bilingual education in other places.
Why do you expect your solution to address the problem?
This project will provide assistance to all those teachers who could not continue with their degree career and for those who are already inserted in third and fourth level careers in universities or other bilingual institutes of higher level of the country, to improve and evaluate the development of reading and writing skills.
Consequently, based on the results achieved in the first stage of the research, in a second stage the project could continue through institutional agreements and agreements with other universities. Therefore, it is expected the support and collaboration of national and international educational entities and institutions to continue with the program.
To reach a social educational change, it implays a different image of bilingual teachers and students, in order to give them the same educational opportunities , especially at the moment to find a seat at the High education in my country, since at the moment there is not a balance of opportunities for them. Another of my goal is to search the possibility to expand this program to another place in order to help other communities.
Select the key characteristics of the population your solution serves.
In which countries will you be operating within the next year?
How many people are you currently serving with your solution? How many will you be serving in one year? How about in five years?
Currently I have focused on a community to give them back the retribution to be part of an ethnographic work performed in an Elementary School, in the province of Cañar- Ecuador, in order to analyze the teaching -learning process of teaching Spanish as a second language. The program has been planned to work during the first year with a number between 30-50 students from the province of Cañar and Azuay, and teachers from the universities of these two provinces who are studying to be Bilingual Teachers, so that the program will be designed to grow later (the next years) and finally to be able to work with a number o 300 people. If the program becomes successful, it will be able to expand to other places of the region (indigenous communities) or others in the borderline of Ecuador (Colombia and Peru). Places that share the same culture and sometimes languages.
What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?
It is hoped with this project to improve in bilingual students and teachers the development of their reading-writing strategies in the communicative competence together with other sub-competences in the use of web 2.0. The obtained results will be announced through scientific communications at national and international conferences related to inclusive education to show that we can solve problems that still make our society vulnerable and, in that way, the program could continued and improved to be able to shared with other communities and countries, or to worked through international agreements or collaboration.
In five years I hope, at leas to help and give solutions to the bilingual communities in my country since at the moment the two largest communities that speak other languages than Spanish are Kichwa and Shuar; however we talk about different languages that are spoken in 14 communities. It is hope at least to cover some of them. Besides prepare people (The same teachers) who can replicate the process, throughout the whole country.
What are the barriers that currently exist for you to accomplish your goals for the next year and for the next five years?
- The bureaucratic process to get access to contests in order to carry out a program or proposal in the universities.
-Nowadays the economic support in our universities or in the country.
-Next year could be a barrier the economical support of the government to support technically to these communities in order to have access to work an online project. Although the government is interest in projects like this one.
- To find an international support to develop a software in order to cover the whole area where the program could expand.
-To find people who can continue the process if it becomes a successful program.
How are you planning to overcome these barriers?
- Programming a good plan and team to carry out a project like this, so the program could work after one year planning and proving it in a small area for example (three provinces at once), and later to continue with the program in other provinces of my country.
- Renewing new activities, according to the curricular pedagogical government plan of educations; in that way teachers will be updated to keep working on it.
-Finding out a continue technical support and government support to provide technology support at elementary schools.
If you selected “I am planning to expand my solution to one or more of ServiceNow’s primary markets,” please provide an overview of your expansion plans. What is the market opportunity for your business or product here?
The countries that are next to Ecuador that face the same problems in education , specially in the rural areas where still prevails bilingual communities that do not have the opportunities to help their inhabitants teaching an efficient language program.
These countries could be Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, where the communities share at least one common language with different dialects and writing or speaking, like quechua, kichwa, besides the other native languages that come from the same roots or other.
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How many people work on your solution team?
At the moment the team is conformed by a group of 4 /5 people, who create the proposal; and some other teachers and students from our universities could take part of this team, the ones related with the field.
For how many years have you been working on your solution?
We haven´t start yet, it is still a proposal . We need economical support to start and universities support on it.
Why are you and your team best-placed to deliver this solution?
The team is conformed by people who have a Phd degree, Master degree and a Specialty in the field of Education and Teaching languages (Spanish and English), all of them related to education and language teaching. Some other two people related to TIC´s and education online, and the idea is to involve students at the universities who want to collaborate with the program.
Most of them have a wide curriculum and experience in this field, and the team is conformed by people from other countries, who belong to different universities in Ecuador.
With what organizations are you currently partnering, if any? How are you working with them?
-Universidad de Cuenca
- Universidad Nacional de Educadores, UNAE
- Universidad Técnica de Latacunga, UTL
These universities were the ones who were involved in the first proposal, it can be incorporated some other 2 one in the north part of Ecuador and another one at the South.
What is your business model?
The beneficiaries will be the native speaking bilingual communities in our country, the ones who really need to have an inclusive education in rural areas.
Bilingual teachers who still are studying their career and face problems with the second language, Spanish.
Bilingual students at the universities.
What is your path to financial sustainability?
The only way we can provide sustainability to the proposal will be with our work, since the university will provide us hours to carryout the project . That will be the value according to the assigned time a month which is between 5 to 20 hours a week, they pay us to work in the project. Sometimes they have also financial support, depending this on each university.
Why are you applying to the Digital Workforce Challenge?
If my solution were selected, I would start the program as I explained integrating the team that worked the first proposal, in that way three universities from my country will be involved, and inter-institutional Program will be great to give a real solution to a problem that still prevails in our country.
On the other hand, I will ask support to the the Ministry of Education , to be involved with the program, supporting us in order to help us to serve to other communities. Especial support in the technological field.
An International Service from other country will help with the methodological support, in the way to adjust the program according to the requirements of Spanish qualification , as a required international exam that will be inclusive for our native speakers, too. That international support has offered to give us support through our agreement with The University of Cuenca since we are a SIELE Support Center in the University of Cuenca, Ecuador. SIELE (International Evaluation Service of the Spanish Language)
The technological support will be solved through people who are qualified and it is required economical support to solve this problem, that still we face; otherwise depending on the found we can start in a first stage from the virtual platforms that the universities have, creating this Virtual Literacy Program of Spanish for Bilingual Communities.
What types of connections and partnerships would be most catalytic for your solution?
With what organizations would you like to partner, and how would you like to partner with them?
It will be mandatory to search the collaboration from other universities from Ecuador,such as:
- Universidad Central in Quito
- Universidad Técnica de Loja,
- A technological support from the ESPOL, another university in Guayaquil
- An International or universities that could give us technical support with an online platform from another country, in order to expand the program to another places.