Our foundation addresses the problematic situation of the Dominican Republic’s education system and provides a supplemental, extracurricular opportunity for children to learn and prepare themselves for a successful future. In a country with over 4.5 million tourists landing per year and therefore that depends largely on tourism to stimulate the economy, our solution is to equip children with the English language, a main requirement to work successfully within industry, as well as vocational training, from a young age.
All of our programs aim for a 1:1 ratio of boys to girls and a 1:10 ratio of teachers to students. Groups for all programs are offered at least once in the morning and once in the afternoon to accommodate differing public school schedules, as we do require that all of our students regularly attend their public school. We also reserve a minimum of 30% of spots for Haitian children living in the DR. All of our English lessons follow the Pearson English Learning System, but is tailored by an educational specialist to our specific population. The vocabulary initially revolves around tennis and sports so that students can apply it on the court. An emphasis is placed on oral communication so students are best prepared for the tourism workforce. Our tennis lessons follow the International Tennis Federation standards of teaching. It is taught in English mainly, though supplemented by Spanish when necessary, and introduces and practices new English vocabulary words throughout the lesson.
Early Childhood English Immersion
Our Early Childhood English Immersion program currently caters to children from ages 3 to 5. Children in this program will attend 1 hour sessions 5 times per week, splitting their daily time equally between the classroom and the tennis court. We welcomed these young students in hopes that they begin with us and remain with us through their childhood and through our later vocational training.
In this program, children will be surrounded by English - they will have daily exposure to and hands on learning with music, books, movies, videos, and of course instruction from their English speaking teacher. According to research from Cornell University's Language Acquisition Lab, the most effective way to learn a second language is through immersion, beginning as early as 3 years old. The research also shows that social interaction, story time, and help from native speakers promote language learning, all of which are comprised in our classes. In our program, children will not only begin their journey to near native proficiency, but they will also strengthen their cognitive language abilities for their native language and any others they may wish to learn in the future.
We currently have the capacity to serve 40 children who qualify for this program.
Elementary English as a Second Language
To serve our next age group, we have the Elementary English as a Second Language program. This program caters to children ages 6 through 12, with classes broken down into ages 6-8 and 9-12. We also divide students in this program into levels, accommodating for new students, extraordinary learners, or gaps in foundation participation. It is intended that the children in these groups have already been with us through our early immersion program and can transition easily into the next stage, although it is not a requirement that they have passed through that first program. Students will attend 1.5 hours of instruction daily from Tuesday through Saturday. They will receive 1 hour of English instruction and 30 minutes of tennis instruction.
In their English classes, students will still be immersed in English, but will begin to focus on studying English as a second language with classes tailored by our certified language teachers. While continuing to utilize active learning methods in our non traditional classrooms, students will be able to advance their listening and speaking skills within their years in this program. Also, their teachers will provide literacy learning opportunities to practice reading and writing in English. Many of the techniques used in this program will be modeled after situations found in real life, such as making a phone call in English, and will eventually cumulate in performing both mock and real life situations in our subsequent program.
We currently have the capacity to serve 80 students, distributed evenly among the ages that qualify for this program.
Career Readiness & Vocational Training
Our newest program is for our older students who have now been with us for a couple of years. Here, we serve ages 13 and up. To enrol in this program, we give priority to our top students from our elementary English program; these students have the highest attendance, best attitudes, and a big desire to learn. Students will come for English class 5 days a week for 1 hour sessions.
Students will continue their English study, focusing on the jargon for career paths within the tourism industry that interest them, as well as participate in a mentoring program for younger students. As students get older, we will practice interview skills in mock interviews before connecting them with real job opportunities across the North Coast. Through our teaching process and communications with our local contacts across the North Coast, our goal is to prepare our children for and to connect our children with real job opportunities in the tourism industry.
We currently have the capacity to serve 20 students in this program.
Notre programme comprend des cours de tennis et des cours d’anglais dans le but de donner aux enfants de 3 à 12 ans une connaissance de l’anglais nécessaire pour travailler ultérieurement dans l’industrie du tourisme. Les enfants sont regroupés selon leur groupe d’âge et par niveau et ont des cours de 1.5 heures cinq fois par semaine. La fondation peut accueillir 140 enfants.
Chaque session comprend 1 heure de cours d’anglais et 30 minutes de cours de tennis. Ces cours, qui respectent les standards de la fédération internationale de tennis, sont donnés en anglais, en espagnol si besoin, durant lesquels les enfants sont exposés à un nouveau vocabulaire. Les cours sont élaborés selon le système d’apprentissage de l’anglais Pearson, mais sont adaptés par notre enseignante spécialiste afin de répondre aux besoins particuliers de notre clientèle. Les enfants sont d’abord exposés au vocabulaire du tennis, qu’ils pourront réutiliser durant leurs cours. L’accent sera mis sur la communication orale, pour mieux les préparer à travailler dans le monde du tourisme.
À compter du mois d’août 2017, nous implanterons un nouveau programme pour nos élèves les plus âgés. Les élèves du groupe de 13 ans et plus auront des cours d’anglais 5 jours par semaine à raison d’une heure par jour. Ils pourront ainsi non seulement parfaire leur compétence dans la langue anglaise, mais à travers notre programme de mentorat bénévole, ils pourront mieux se préparer à un emploi futur. Par cet enseignement et à l’aide de nos contacts à travers la Côte Nord, nous voulons former nos élèves et leur fournir l’occasion de découvrir des possibilités d’emploi dans l’industrie du tourisme.