The Future of Education

Edition 8

Accepted Abstracts

The Emergence of Globalization and English Language Education in Cuba

Diane Boothe, Boise State University (United States)

Abstract

The economy of Cuba is rapidly evolving with direct implications for English language acquisition. Cuba is no longer an isolated island with inaccessible boundaries. Its citizens are making valuable contributions to developing nations in health care, business and intercultural communications. Cuba’s economy got a jolt in 2014 when United States and Cuban ties were restored and the U.S. Embassy in Havana reopened (Dominguez, 2015). The emergence of globalization brings valuable transformation to all aspects of Cuban life including opportunities to teach and learn English. Investment in human capital with a well-educated workforce is a valuable asset. A reasonable English language fluent population will be needed to respond to increased tourism, trade and development activities involving English speaking travelers, merchants and investors.

            This research utilizes a multipronged approach to address the significant impact of English language acquisition in Cuba focusing on by whom, to whom, and for whom. Education is rapidly evolving and mastery of English has the potential to stimulate Cuba’s economic direction and reshape Cuban life with opportunities to bridge divides and engage in significant and sustainable development.

            English language learning continues to be at the forefront of energizing economic trends in Cuba and permeates the discourse of academic discussions. There is a multiplicity of opportunities as English learners in Cuba tackle emerging complex and diverse needs of this evolving, rapidly developing nation. The literacy rate is an impressive 99.8% (Los Angeles Times, December 4, 2016), and it is ripe for incorporating English language learning that will strengthen entrepreneurship and inspire a thriving transcultural workforce of the 21st century.

In the research conducted, contemporary language education in Cuba is explored as it applies to the rapidly evolving economic and intercultural communications, widening the circle of opportunity for Cubans. Exploring the implications of this research is particularly relevant to my experiences as a bilingual educator with Cuban-American students, and sharing findings with colleagues will allow us to cross geographical and cultural frontiers.

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