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First Generation of Mexican Bilingual Students Expected Within 20 Years

ML - The News
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November 14, 2015

Civil groups praise Public Education Secretary Aurelio Nuño’s new language program. (Notimex/Jorge Torres)

With the implementation of a new English program throughout the country, Public Education Secretary Aurelio Nuño estimates that Mexico will achieve the first generation of bilingual students in 10 or 20 years. This is supported by civil society organizations specializing in education issues and affirms the need to continue with the objectives of the National English Program in education, which sets the bases for change.

Luis Mauricio Torres Alcocer, a researcher for the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO), said, “It’s a great initiative. The National English Program that is being proposed is not new, we’ve already had a pilot program since 2009, and we implement it at the state level in some places.”

He did not reveal the results of the pilot program, but said it had a favorable design for the coordination of kindergarten through ninth grade.

“The objectives were very well communicated about what level of English should be achieved each year, and we think that it should resume,” he said.

The IMCO said that in order for the Nuño program to have the expected results, “the most important thing is to know how much will be allocated to them, what teaching needs strengthening, that English is truly compulsory and that there are evaluation mechanisms for the teachers.”

They should focus on having the ability to properly train potential English teachers in the nation’s teachers colleges, the institute said.

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