9 December 2019 at 9:00 am

Opening new doors for Chilean teachers of English

New Zealand’s model of education is highly regarded in Chile – so much so that the Chilean Government has set up programmes to send teachers here for professional development. 


Two groups of 20 Chilean teachers of English recently spent time at two New Zealand universities, studying diversity and inclusion in the classroom and learning more about the Kiwi style of teaching.

The first cohort, from Chile’s Araucania region, went to the University of Waikato’s Institute of Professional Learning. They were the third group of teachers funded to travel here by Araucanian local government.

University of Waikato Associate Director of International Education and Development, Chris Henderson, describes their programme as “genuinely collaborative”.

“As our relationship with the Chilean Ministry of Education has developed, we progressed from delivering an off-the-shelf programme to co-creating a teacher development intitiative that is bespoke and unique to Chilean teachers’ needs,” he says.

"Our unique point of difference is our inclusion of Māori language and learning methods in mainstream classrooms. This is something our Chilean teachers aspire to achieve for their Mapuche [indigenous] learners. As such, we can inspire possibilities and introduce methodologies that will support their journey."

The second cohort spent four weeks at Massey University in Palmerston North. Funded to come here by the Chilean Ministry of Education’s Programa Ingles Abre Puertas (English Open Doors) programme, their members came from all over Chile.

This course featured classes on pedagogical innovations that promote student-centred instruction, as well as visits to local schools, practical workshops and a two-day stay on a local marae.

One student commented: “Not only this course taught us content, but also it engaged me with your culture. How am I going to learn about New Zealand education if I didn't know anything about you? I feel your culture, traditions and daily lifestyle are now part of my life; I feel I fully understand your system and how to apply it in my own reality. Thank you for making this experience as unique as I thought it would be.”

ENZ Senior Market Development Manager, Javiera Visedo, says she is delighted to continue working with the Chilean Government on teaching initiatives like these.

“Chile and New Zealand are like-minded partners and the education linkages get stronger and deeper every day,” she says. “These groups are perfect examples of the work we have been doing in Chile aligned with our International Education Strategy, and we definitely expect more to come.”

For enquiries regarding opportunities like these in Chile, contact Javiera via email: javiera.visedo@enz.govt.nz.

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