Exploring intercultural program evaluation in Mexico

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Hasinoff, Judy
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2002
The focus of this paper is to determine the validity of an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) program evaluation project in Mexico. That work, begun in 1998, involved evaluating the English portion of a grades 1-9 bilingual program in a private boys' school, and was based on a set of standards developed specifically for the project. The ultimate goal of that program was to obtain a parchment of International EFL Program Recognition by Lethbridge Community College. As the program evaluation evolved it became increasingly apparent that an evaluation of the actual recognition process was important in order to ascertain that the method of evaluation employed was effective and academically credible. To meet this end, a series of evaluation tools was designed targeting a wide range of stakeholders. The tools included surveys and questionnaires, as well as interviews and site inspections. Some of the evaluation work was undertaken on-site in Mexico, with other portions effected through e-mail communication. The majority of the data was collected and sorted qualitatively through the identification of recurring themes and the webbing of emerging information which appeared to be particularly useful. The responses to one tool were numerical, requiring a quantitative analysis of the results. Once all of the data had been examined and manipulated, a report was prepared for the school which included presentation of emergent results and recommendations for change. However, work on this project was not completed at this point. Rather, it had become apparent that, in order to more fully understand diverse elements involved in this study, research had to be done to inform the project more fully. Thus, the areas of intercultural action research, Mexican culture, trends and issues in additional language education, and English as international language were explored in relation to this study. As such, underpinnings to the project were strengthened, and the research informed reflection on--and understanding of--the work. Although the actual evaluation of the evaluation project is now complete, the project itself is dynamic, and has actually expanded to other schools. Thus, reporting definitively on a completed project cannot be done. Instead, findings--such as the challenges of intercultural communication--have been reported here which are valuable in informing future work in Mexico. Additionally, challenges have emerged which are discussed in this study, and which, because of the reflection and research accompanying this study it is hoped will be able to be dealt with positively in future EFL program evaluations in Mexico.
vi, 201 leaves ; 29 cm. --
English language -- Study and teaching as a second language , English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers , English language -- Study and teaching -- Mexico , Intercultural communication -- Mexico , Cross-cultural orientation -- Mexico