English in Colombia - Education Intelligence | British Council

May 1, 2015 - National government policy on English language learning ..... 29 Exam English, Retrieved from: http://www.examenglish.com/CEFR/cefr.php.
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Education Intelligence

English in Colombia: An examination of policy, perceptions and influencing factors

May 2015

English in Colombia

Contents

INTRODUCTION

4

METHODOLOGY

5

KEY FINDINGS

8

MACRO ANALYSIS

9

Education governance

9

Education indicators

10

National government policy on English language learning

13

Geography

18

ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING ANALYSIS

19

Macro-evaluation of English learners

19

Public education penetration

19

Private education penetration

20

English in higher education

21

Provision of private English language training

22

Self-access English language learning

23

International English language evaluation

24

ENGLISH LEARNING MOTIVATIONS

26

Proportion of English learners by state

27

Motivations for learning English

30

Barriers to studying English

36

EMPLOYER DEMAND FOR ENGLISH

40

Management profile

40

Employer analysis

41

Managers’ views

44

2

English in Colombia

FACTORS IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING

47

English for employability

47

Growth industries

47

Income

50

Education attainment

52

University links

52

Migration

54

Access

54

Internet and media

55

Teacher preparedness and pedagogies

56

Inclusive English environment

56

OPPORTUNITIES IN COLOMBIA

57

IN CONCLUSION

58

3

English in Colombia

Introduction

Increased political stability, a large young population and an optimistic economic growth outlook based on rich natural resources have thrown a spotlight on Colombia. While there are significant challenges with regard to education quality and access as well as poverty, creating an increasingly skilled workforce has become a government priority as the country looks to build upon the interest it is currently generating. Economic growth is now closely linked to creating a better-educated, English-speaking workforce. Colombia’s fledgling middle class also looks poised to further the government’s ambitious agenda. However, the decentralised nature of the education system has created challenges in terms of standardisation and accountability, and it is important to examine the true nature of industry demand for English speakers when considering appropriate language benchmarks for the Colombian population.

4

English in Colombia

Methodology

Phase 1

Literature review In the first phase of the research process we carried out an extensive literature review of current knowledge and available data to shape our research design and situate our investigation in the current context.

Phase 2

Desk research and secondary data collection In Phase 2 we worked with local language analysts to compile extensive background information on the local education and policy environment. An audit of secondary data sources framed the structure and design of primary data collection in Phase 3.

Phase 3

Quantitative primary data collection In Phase 3 we collected primary data through two main channels: • an online survey of 1,000 people from the general populati