Foreign language ambassadors gather for confab

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

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CLOSE to 25 foreign language ambassadors gathered at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston for the fourth annual Foreign Language Ambassadors International Cooperation meeting yesterday.

This confab, according to a release from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, was organised by Martha Corbett-Baugh, senior education officer for foreign languages in the ministry's Core Curriculum Unit.

Education, youth and information minister Senator Ruel Reid, said: “Jamaica can benefit from enormous economic possibilities for increased trade with non-English-speaking countries, if more persons become multilingual”.

He made the comment while delivering the keynote address, under the theme 'International Co-operation in Education' the release said.

The teachers in attendance were also afforded the opportunity to interface with exhibitors on site and gather information on how to access scholarships to study abroad through embassies and other cultural cooperation agreements.

Citing the apprehension by some individuals about Jamaica engaging in trade with non-English-speaking countries, Senator Reid said significant expansion in the global space within which nations now operate has resulted in more individuals broadening their skills to include the ability to communicate in different languages.

“We want to emphasise that foreign languages are important in today's globalised economy and therefore relevant to all career fields and spheres. Our teachers must themselves adapt to new attitudes within the context of the digital era, current trends in foreign language education that reflect learner centredness: Inclusivity, knowledge creation, internationalisation and exchanges, and the Vision 2030 mantra of foreign language competence for all Jamaicans,” stated Senator Ruel Reid.

The release said the interactive demonstrations coupled with the riveting presentations delivered by each ambassador, on the various initiatives they have introduced and established in Jamaica over the years were the highlight of the meeting.

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