Saturday, March 1, 2008

Welcome to the English Program at UPEL-IPM

No single disciplinary perspective adequately accounts for the complexities of how people use language, participate in communication, and create and understand texts. Our very strength as English Program thus rests with our aggregate of different disciplines that explore multiple aspects of human communications. Multidisciplinary perspectives of creative writing, English education, linguistics, literature, and rhetoric and composition create contrasting and complementary theoretical and methodological approaches to understanding and teaching how people engage language, and create, consume and circulate texts in diverse media.

The English Program at Universidad Pedagógica Experimental Libertador - Instituto Pedagógico de Maturín is robust and unique precisely because we bring together every part of English Studies in one space. Our interdisciplinary and intradisciplinary scholarship and teaching allow us to make valuable contributions to multidisciplinary initiatives in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. This Program’s expressed mission is to study, create, and teach spoken, written, visual and digital communication practices and texts ranging from the imaginative to the functional in civic, social, personal, academic and professional communities—and to mentor others to do likewise.

With areas of strong national reputation and a professionally productive, multidisciplinarily engaged, and teaching-committed faculty, faculty embrace what we call “teacher-scholar” and “scholar-citizen” models, and look as well to our diverse communities for greater discourse.

Why study English?

The English language is recognized globally as the international means of communication. Graduates of the program at UPEL-IPM are prepared to teach in the secondary schools, to go on to graduate study in English, rhetoric, or creative writing, to pursue a degree in law, information science, or one of the other professions.
Students with a degree in English are well equipped to go into the teaching field. Because the English degree is so versatile, graduates from our program pursue careers in a range of different areas such as secondary and college teaching, law, editing, journalism, medicine, ministry, business and non-profit organizations, and librarianship.

The curriculum in English has as its goal the cultivation of some principles

Learning a foreign language is not only the goal of the English career, but also the starting point for a lifetime of engagement in professions that need literate employees. English graduates are people who read and think and know how to communicate effectively. Although some English graduates pursue careers in teaching either at the secondary or college level, most take the skills learned in their English classes into other fields.
The English Program at UPEL-IPM sends quite a number of graduates on to different schools, where the skills of teaching are highly valued. Other professional schools, especially those that require research and writing, are also happy to receive English majors, while some graduates receive a different kind of post-graduate training as at Sede Postgrado.
English graduates who enter the job market right after graduation report that getting the first entry level position may be a challenge, but once in they advance faster than more narrowly trained students because they are better equipped to learn what the school, institute or university needs and how they can adapt their training to meet those needs.

Venezuela Education

Venezuela has made considerable progress in education in recent years. An extensive literacy campaign has been conducted by the Venezuelan business community since 1980. For the year 2000, adult illiteracy was estimated at 7.0% (males, 6.7%; females, 7.3%). Public education from kindergarten through university is free, and education is compulsory for children ages 6 through 15. Approximately 20% of the national budget is assigned to education. As of 1995, public expenditure on education was estimated at 5% of GDP.

Preprimary schools are being established throughout the country by the government. After nine years of elementary school, children undergo two to three years of secondary school, which comes in two stages: the first is designed to provide a general education in the sciences and the humanities; the second prepares students for the university and offers specialization in philosophy and literature, physical science and mathematics, or biological science. In 1997, there were 4,262,221 students enrolled in elementary schools, with 202,195 teachers. Also in 1997, secondary schools enrolled 377,984 students and employed approximately 34,000 teachers. As of 1999, 88% of primary-school-age children were enrolled in school, while 50% of those eligible attended secondary school. Technical and vocational schools provide instruction in industry and commerce, the trades, nursing, and social welfare.

There are 14 universities, both national and private, including the University of Venezuela (founded in 1725), Los Andes University (1785), Simón Bolívar University (1970), and the Open University (1977). Leading private institutions were the Andrés Bello Catholic University (1953), Santa María University (1953), and the Metropolitan University of Caracas (1970). Over 47 institutes of higher learning, colleges, and polytechnic institutes exist where students pursue at least 180 different fields or professions. As of 1998, all universities had a combined enrollment that exceeded 300,000, representing a 40% increase over the last decade.