Cuban delegation to IATEFL 2019
Participation of the Cuban delegation at the Conference of IATEFL 2019, with the support of the British Council Cuba, opened the doors to an issue of the HLT magazine dedicated to Cuba. ©

British Council 

The British magazine Humanizing Language Teaching (HLT), one of the most relevant digital publications for the English teachers around the world, stands out the Cuban experience for teaching that language as a second idiom in Higher Education.

For Zoe Domínguez, Director of the Language Centre of the University of Matanzas and one of the authors, this not only influences the processes of teacher categorization: 

 “By sharing experiences, the quality of English teaching in the country can be improved and undoubtedly, for all professionals, publishing the result of their work in a specialized magazine is a source of personal and professional satisfaction; even more so when it comes to a magazine like the HLT edited by Pilgrims, which has an international reach and shares the knowledge and pedagogical experiences of English teachers from all over the world”.

Fourteen articles by twenty-one Cuban professors and researchers from various universities in the country and 2 articles from UK experts make up the main content of the magazine, which addresses the current scenario of the English language teaching / learning process in Cuba led by the Ministry of Higher Education (MES, for its acronym in Spanish), that have been implementing for a few years a strategy focused on perfecting this process in all careers and study modalities in the island.

As part of our joint programme with MES the two prestigious British experts Alan Pulverness from TransformELT and Mike Williams from Saint Giles Educational Trust (our main partners during the last two years for our English for Education Systems programme) shared their overview working in Cuba on curriculum renewal and the Classroom in Action and #MentorsInAction experiences focus on new generations of ELTs.

The June 2020 issue includes among its written pages other relevant topics like: MES policy for teaching English at Cuban universities, teacher training, motivation, culture, adult education, literacy with the “I can” method and the development of this teaching strategy in Cuba.

This collaboration is a result of our attendance last year with MES to the IATEFL Conference where we had a meeting with the Editor of the magazine Hania Kryszewska. At the introduction of the issue, she recalled how their interest in dedicating a number to Cuba came up:

 “Last April at IATEFL Conference in Liverpool, I was in the lift in my hotel with three other conference participants. I saw their conference badges, so I started chatting, and obviously I asked them where they were from. They answered they were from Cuba. I was so happy to meet my first Cuban colleagues ever. I invited them to the Pilgrims stand and we chatted about things and agreed we would have a Cuban issue of HLT. And here it is!”.

British Council has been collaborating with the educational sector in Cuba for many years but, since 2017, closer exchanges and joint actions have led to better integration to look for more suitable opportunities for Cuban teachers but also for them to share their countless professional experiences of teaching. That is why the recognition of this publication dedicated to the work of ELTs in Cuba is so valuable for all parts involved.

Minerva Rodríguez, our Country Director, remarked this at the editorial section of the magazine:

“The talented Cuban teachers and professors have been working along the ministries of Education to innovate in the way of teaching and training according to current needs. This edition gathers some of those experiences which will give you an overview about different elements that have been taken into consideration to develop ELT in the Island”. 

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