English for Employment in Guatemala

This post is also available in: Español 

Photo of report cover Photo of Report Cover

English proficiency is becoming increasingly important in the workplace and can significantly impact the job opportunities and professional growth of today's workers. Surveys and studies conducted with employers throughout Latin America often included English as one of the most important and in-demand skills. Teaching English at the primary and secondary levels has expanded significantly in recent decades, and the Ministry of Education of Guatemala requires it in its curricula, establishing standards for learning. What has not been widely analyzed is English learning to prepare young people to enter the labor market.

In the following report, Empresarios por la Educación, in collaboration with Guatemala No Se Detiene, AGEXPORT, and the Inter-American Dialogue, with the co-sponsorship of Pearson, provides new evidence and information on English language teaching and learning for employment in Guatemala. The report analyzes English for employment by examining national-level efforts to strengthen language policy, focusing on preparing students in technical and vocational programs to enter the workforce with the necessary language skills. The study does not analyze the situation simply from the supply side of training programs but also the demand side through an analysis focused on the BPO sector and other economic sectors that hire human talent with English language proficiency.

Key recommendations:

  1. Implement a strategy for strengthening English language training that links education with employment, highlighting the roles of government entities, including the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Economy, and including it in the employment plans of these portfolios. For example, an integrated information system of trainees that employees can access may be a coordination mechanism.
  2. Revise teacher training processes to incorporate English language learning so that primary school teachers achieve a basic command of English and institutionalize continuous training programs for in-service teachers to improve their linguistic skills and methodological strategies.
  3. Establish and scale up the English scholarship program to facilitate access to learning a foreign language for all high school students so that they can graduate with a level of English that will allow them to immediately enter the job market.



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