Last September state school teachers in Mallorca created upset and controversy with their strike tactics over the proposed introduction of English as a third language into the school syllabus. Almost a year on and things have definitely progressed.
Any change is difficult to introduce into such a large machine as the Balearic education system which has 400 schools and approximately 15,000 teachers, and it is for this reason the Regional Ministry of Education Culture and Universities has decided to introduce the role of “voluntario linguistico” to help the teachers and students make the transition. This process started a few months ago with a meeting between representatives of local English associations and the Secretary General Guillem Estarellas (see photo). Now the unions have signed their agreement to the scheme, and it can go public.
What does this mean to us? It’s an opportunity for native English speakers with a couple of hours to spare every week to volunteer in their local school. Volunteers will be asked to give verbal support to teachers in the class; it will not require any preparation or even a good level of spoken Spanish or Catalan. The initial goal is to have volunteers starting in a limited number of schools across the island at the beginning of October. This is a fantastic opportunity to get involved in your local community and really help children to develop their communication skills.
If you would like to be put yourself forward then please email Kate Mentink as soon as possible on firstname.lastname@example.org