You are on page 1of 3

ABLA Express 2015

Washington, DC
Day 1: Travel to US, no host dinner together for those who arrive in time (“no host dinner”
means everyone pays for their own meal)
Day 2:
9:00 am start: Welcome by Steering Committee and description of activities
Topic 1: Governance issues: Does ABLA need statutes and other formal structures? Should we
try to formalize ourselves like TESOL, Coligacao or other organizations? If so, what should be
our plan of attack? If not, how formal would we like ABLA to be?
Topic 2: Working together: What are realistic projects that ABLA members can do jointly?
Starting from things that have been successful locally (online library projects, unified
programs/text books, shared cultural programming, etc.), what tangible projects can be
identified? Regional? Agreements between individual centers?
Day 3:
Topic 1: Meeting with Global Ties to get to know each other better (what specific activities do
the BNCs do, what specific activities does Global Ties do) and then brainstorming to see how we
can work together in areas that overlap.
Topic 2: Programmed visits. The group should split up according to interests. One group can
visit Smithsonian and explore the new relationship with that organization. Another group can
visit a university (Georgetown?). What other organizations would be of interest to us?
Day 4:
Topic 1: Visit to IIP offices or other State Department office(s); potential topics: standards
training, using online resources (AmericanSpaces.state.gov and AmericanEnglish.state.gov),
EducationUSA
Topic 2: Wrap up meeting to share what was learned and to make recommendations for ABLA
2016 and ABLA Express 2017.
Day 5: Travel day. It would be possible to help small groups make arrangements to visit other
places of interest, including universities in other cities or other organizations that the BNCs want
to establish relationships with. Maybe several members of the Steering Committee could lead
these smaller groups. Each of us can offer a proposal we are interested in, and the other Directors
can decide if they want to join us. For example, Clara Lucia Lopez, the director of the Colombo
Americano in Manizales, and I have wanted to visit Carnegie Mellon University because they

have a really strong online/blended presence, and we would like to get to know more about how
they are managing it. Clarita has contacts there who would help set up a visit.

1

2

3
4
5

Accreditation: After experiencing this process in 3 BNCs in Peru (we are still
crossing fingers in Arequipa and Chiclayo waiting for the final response from
CEA), we do believe that being accredited as language centers by a serious
American organization would be a very important asset for our institutions,
not only because of self-assessment and continuous improvement of all our
services and areas, but also because of all the future benefits in terms of
more opportunities for partnerships with US universities for student and
teacher exchange programs, validation of our services, programs and
certifications, competitive advantage, best practices, and so on. We could
invite the Commission on English Language Accreditation to give a
presentation. You can find more information on their website cea-accredit.org
Community Service Programs: There are many BNCs developing successful
programs on sustainability/environmental protection, volunteering,
prevention of bullying, civic education, and others that can be implemented
by other centers. Simultaneous group meetings on different issues could be
arranged during one session to share experiences and ideas.
100,000 Strong: Strategies to facilitate and strengthen our EducationUSA
office services and objectives, and to promote Campus USA
Cultural Track: Presentation of tentative agenda, feedback and agreement of
General Directors in order to ensure the participation of Cultural Directors in
future ABLA conferences
Blended learning / on line programs for English Teachers and students

1. On day 3: Instead of just meeting with Global Ties, I would try to split the group
into smaller committees and have each committee meet with other organizations who
might be interested in partnering with BNCs, like Partners of the Americas, Smithsonian
Institute, Universities or Cultural centers, for example. This will offer us different
options and go further on the partnering process that will really benefit our missions.
At the end of the day, each committee will give a report on what they have accomplished
with each institution, and what kind of programs can be developed.
2. On day four, I would try to add time or change the schedule a little bit, so we can
end with an operational plan in order to define real goals, projects, programs, etc. that we
could operate together as ABLA and how they will be accomplished (the operational
part).
3. Adding to the topics other colleagues have suggested, that could be discussed on day
2, I present the following:

a) Strategies or actions for alliances and partnerships with universities, English
language Institutes, Cultural centers, institutions like Partners of the Americas,
Global Ties or Smithsonian Institute etc.
b) Strategies or actions to develop an Online English Language Program for
BNCs
c)

Strategies and actions for the relation and negotiation with book publishers.

d) Actions in order to enhance and improve cultural programming with US
Department of State
e) Actions to have an annual ABLA University Tour