AMERICAN ENGLISH TRAINERS. American English trainers from Tawi-Tawi and Sulu discuss monitoring and evaluation practices for their proposed projects with program coordinator Irish Mae Fernandez-Dalona. Photo by Ian Embradura.

Report by Anito Librando

Over 20 alumni of the American English Training of Trainers (AETOT) and other US government exchange programs drew together at the AETOT Facilitators' Workshop organized by the US Embassy in the Philippines at the American Spaces Cagayan de Oro in Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan from January 25 to 27.

The three-day workshop was aimed at training and brainstorming on how to organize AETOT workshops in various provinces of Mindanao.

“Capacitating the AE trainers with project management skills is necessary for them to co-create the AE goal of empowering more teachers in Mindanao,” said program facilitator Lynrose Jane Genon.

“As leaders of their organizations and communities, these skills will help them scale up their AE initiatives and create a bigger impact. This will also help them in keeping pace with the changing educational landscape in the country,” Genon added.

Since 2016, a series of American English Training of Teachers, organized by the Regional English Language Office of the US Embassy in the Philippines, provided educators the opportunity to be familiar with the AE resources and how they can be contextualized in classrooms to improve students’ motivation to learn, participate in class discussion, critically think about their learning and learn with others in the most creative and engaging ways. 

The workshop focused on planning, drafting the training syllabus, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation of their individual mini-grants, and preparing reports.

USG alumna Rebecca Sagot of DepEd Davao del Norte presented to the participants the project narrative template and facilitated the formulation of the problem statement, articulation of goals, and planning of activities to achieve the objectives.

DepEd Davao del Norte’s Edgar Manaran, also a USG alumnus, facilitated the session on preparing an AETOT training design with reviewing AE resources and topics, preparing training needs assessment, and designing activities to deliver topic content.

US EMBASSY. Malcolm Flores and Ryan Bradeen of the US Embassy in the Philippines greet the participants and explain the rationale for the training through a video conference. Photo by Ian Embradura.

Program facilitator Genon from Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) walked the participants through the process of preparing a project budget and introduced budget templates to be used in their projects. In another session with Genon, the participants were also trained to prepare financial reports for monitoring and evaluation purposes. 

AE TOT program coordinator Irish Mae Fernandez - Dalona discussed the importance and strategies to properly monitor and evaluate projects focusing on formulating SMART objectives and identifying success indicators, and formulating means to gather information.

For the participants to know the basic techniques in the proper and effective utilization of Facebook and Twitter for their projects, Xavier Ateneo's Development Communication department chairman Evans Yonson provided the input on using social media for projects to assist the participants in creating a social media plan for their respective projects.

Writer Stephen Pedroza from Xavier Ateneo also introduced to the participants the value of writing and sharing the stories of their projects. 

In the final day of the workshop, the participants presented their training plans to a panel for feedback and clarification before submitting their final proposals to the US Embassy for approval. 

“As facilitators, we are not expecting the participants to create a perfect AETOT, because that doesn't exist. It's enough for me to see them realize that they can be a powerful catalyst for change in their own community of teachers,” said Dalona.

The American English Training of Trainers Facilitators Workshop was made possible through the assistance of Synergia Foundation.∎

USG alumna Rebecca Sagot from DepEd Davao del Norte delivers the session input on project planning. Photo by Ian Embradura. 

Edgar Manaran of DepEd Davao del Norte provides guidelines for participants to design a training assessment plan. Photo by Ian Embradura.

USG alumna Lynrose Jane Genon of MSU-IIT provides training participants with tools for writing project financial reports. Photo by Ian Embradura.

AETOT program coordinator Irish Mae Fernandez-Dalona stresses the value of project monitoring to the training participants. Photo by Ian Embradura.

Xavier Ateneo's Development Communication department chairman Evans Yonson inspires the training participants with his experience in utilizing social media for projects. Photo by Ian Embradura.

Writer Stephen Pedroza from Xavier Ateneo also introduced to the participants the value of writing and sharing the stories of their projects. Photo by Ian Embradura.

Xavier Ateneo Junior High School faculty Anito Librando provides the presentation guidelines of proposed teacher training designs on the last day of the AETOT Facilitators’ Workshop. Photo by Ian Embradura

American English trainers from Mindanao together with the workshop facilitators pose in front of the Lucas Hall after their day 2 session. Photo by Ian Embradura.

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