Creating Opportunities with English: Strengthening a Rural Colombian School’s TEFL Program

Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Short-Term Program (Fulbright DAST) 2023 Project Information

Project Overview

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City, Country: Montebello, Antioquia, Colombia

Project Dates: February 6 - March 17, 2023

Project Length: 5-6 weeks

Summary: A U.S. educator with expertise in TEFL will work with TEFL educators at a rural school to strengthen its English language program.

Host Institution Information

Name: Mariano J. Villegas School

Type: Secondary school


About: The town of Montebello is located in the southwest of Colombia’s Antioquia department. Montebello has a population of 6,982 habitants. Assigned to the Departmental Secretary of Education, the greater Mariano J. Villegas School has 10 branches located within rural areas of the town which serve a population of approximately 165 students. With a population of approximately 400 students, the main site of the Mariano J. Villegas School also teaches elementary education in addition to Technical Media Education for students in grades 6-11. The administrative staff of the school is composed by the principal, an academic coordinator, a secretary, a librarian, and its staff of 34 teachers. Currently the school runs its operations in-person.

Project Information

Background: It is a national priority of the Colombian government to improve the English language abilities of Colombian students, particularly those of students in rural areas whose professional and educational prospects lag behind students graduating from urban schools. As part of the Mariano J. Villegas School’s efforts to create improved educational and professional opportunities for its students and greater equity in Colombian society, the school has prioritized efforts to improve its English language instruction.

Goals: The U.S. educator will help the Mariano J. Villegas School strengthen its English language department by providing guidance on best practices in TEFL education, reviewing the school’s English language curricula, and introducing new instructional strategies to increase the students’ interest in studying English. The U.S. educator will work closely with English language educators to provide them with information on innovative TEFL methodologies, resources, assessment techniques, cultural exchange possibilities, and general pedagogical approaches.

Activities: Leading seminars, workshops or other teacher professional development for educators; conducting needs assessments, surveys, institutional or programmatic research; consulting with administrators and/or instructors on faculty development; developing academic curricula or educational materials; other education capacity building activities that meet host institution goals.

Target Beneficiaries: EFL educators and administrative staff

Qualifications of Selected Applicant

Teaching Level: Secondary (grades 7-12)

Years of Teaching Experience: 3+ years

Subject Area Expertise: TEFL, Teacher training

Language Requirement: Intermediate – Advanced Spanish

Program Resources


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