Regional education directors from all over Costa Rica came to the capital to participate in a five-day course focusing on phonemic awareness for first, second, and third graders. Chelsy Albertson, English Language Fellow, joined primary-school teacher Erick Ceciliano and the director of primary English education at the Ministry of Public Education, Ana Isabel Campos, to create an event that would be informative, engaging, and inspirational. After absorbing the lessons and participating in frequent reflection activities, the regional directors themselves created demonstrations based on the phonemic-awareness goals outlined in the national curriculum. They drew pictures, created games, made posters, sang songs, and showed that they not only understood the content of the course, but also how to adapt it to fit their regions’ needs. 

The event was a real hit. “I really loved the experience. I learned a lot and hope to continue to have these types of trainings,” said Maritza Cedeño, a participating regional leader. Still, the great experience enjoyed by these educators was not the final goal of the project. Albertson has constructed these events to make sure knowledge and techniques will spread throughout all of Costa Rica. The regional directors’ understanding of phonemic awareness will allow them to take that information back to their regions and create their own workshops for local classroom teachers. “I really enjoyed the workshop. It’s going to be very helpful for teachers in my region.” said director Ezequiel Rojas, a participant. Another participating regional leader, Ronald Vargas Chavarria, felt the same. “It was really important to me because now I feel more confident explaining [phonemic awareness] to my teachers,” he said.

Throughout their lesson demonstrations, each regional director showed how she or he might adapt certain activities differently to fit the needs of local student populations. The directors’ creativity abounded throughout the week, and they proved they were ready to spread phonemic-awareness teaching to their regions.

Related Stories

Fellow Eileen Finn Connects with Indian Culture through Art

Based in New Delhi, India, a bustling capital city where cows often wander shanty-lined streets, English Language Fellow Eileen Finn teaches at Ambedkar University. Discover Finn’s life as a Fellow as she attends traditional Indian art classes and develops English language capacity as an English for Academic Purposes instructor and teacher trainer.

Fellow Katrina Schmidt Shares Stories of Training English Teachers in Mexico

Based in Tijuana, Mexico, one of the most visited border cities across the globe, English Language Fellow Katrina Schmidt trains English teachers. More than 50 million people cross the border between California and Mexico every year through Tijuana. Follow Schmidt’s fellowship journey as she increases English teaching capacity and mutual understanding in a growing international…

Follow Us on Twitter


In the #Kilamanjaro region of #Tanzania, #ELFellow Jane Petring collaborated with a Tanzanian teacher to lead life…

2 days ago