Ecuador Expat Forum - English High Schools in Cuenca

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meemee
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From: Canada
12/7/2006 13:03    
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Hi,

My husband and I are considering moving to Cuenca with our 2 teenagers (ages 17 and 14) and are wondering if there are any English speaking or international high schools there? I'm having trouble finding any info about this on the internet.

Do other expats in Cuenca or Quito home/cyber school their kids? If so - is there anyone out there who has done it with teenagers (I mean started doing it when the kids were in high school instead of elementary school)?

Thanks for any info.

Meemee

Vikki2
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2/9/2009 17:16    
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Hi. I am also interested in International/English High Schools in Cuenca. My daughter will be 14. She is studying Spanish but don't think she will be fluent enough for school, or she will get very fluent very quickly. To answer your question our eldest daughter did Grade 12 at home...It was ok, but in reality I think it would have been nice to have a graduating class for her final year, but circumstances were so that she choose to be at home for her final year. I wouldn't do it again though, lol.
Vikki

meemee
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From: Canada
2/11/2009 21:36    
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Hi Vikki,

I sent you a private message but I'm not sure if you actually got it (it didn't show up in my account as "sent").

Please let me know if you got it and, if you didn't, I will re-send it.
Thanks,
Meemee

Vikki2
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2/17/2009 18:05    
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Hey meemee I did not recieve it and I also tried to send you one which I don't believe went.

Vikki

Esteban
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5/19/2009 18:50    
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Hola,
Are you willing to share any info on english schools in Cuenca. I would like to move there with my wife and three young kids. I'm having difficulty locating any information re: elementary schools as well.

meemee
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From: Canada
5/25/2009 08:30    
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Hi Esteban,

As far as I know there are no English speaking schools in Cuenca. We've been here for 8 months and I've never come across one.

What we did with our daughter (who is 16 yrs old now) is put her in full time Spanish classes for a couple of months and then enroll her in one of the local high schools. She takes her "regular" Canadian classes online.

So she goes to high school during the day to socialize, learn Spanish and. while she is there, she is also able to work on some of her online lessons (she prints out her assignments).

I believe that moving here when your kids are young would be ideal as they learn the language so much faster. We know of a child who moved here at 9 yrs old and was fluent in under 6 months.

How old are your children? I think what you'd want to be careful of is the school's curriculum and make sure that your children are being taught properly (in other words - choose a good school). But as far as putting them in a Spanish speaking only school? I really wouldn't worry about it. What you could do is try to move in the summer and get a tutor for your kids for a couple of months before the new school year. I think that would give them a good head start on their Spanish.

As far as living in Cuenca - We love it here. We're so glad we made the move. Our daughter loves it as well. As one expat here said - "we can't believe how easy it is to live here."

Most people are friendly and helpful and, although it's a good idea to learn Spanish, most Ecuadorians are more than willing to be of assistance.

I hope this helps and please feel free to ask more questions if you have any.

Meemee

PS I don't think the private message thing works on this forum though. Another poster and I tried several times to private message each other and couldn't get it to work.

meemee
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From: Canada
5/25/2009 08:31    
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MarjorieB
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1/5/2010 19:57    
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Hello all,

My husband and I are moving to Cuenca in July of 2010. Our daughters are 10 and 9. We need info on whether homeschooling and spanish school, or Using Us virtual school with spanish lessons. Does anyone live n Cuenca with small children now? Do you homeschool? So many questions. Please help.

Thanks all,

Marjorie

Silverwater
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1/5/2010 21:40    
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I dont know much about schools in Cuenca, but I have two kids ages 14 and 15 and I homeschool them in English subjects. I am in Guayaquil, and know of one school here that is all in English but it is VERY expensive. I did put my kids in bilingual schools for a couple of year, and they are close to fluent. We┬┤ve been here going on five years now. I am also a teacher in a high school, and can tell you that tuitions are all over the board...from 40 dollars a month to more than 700.

agiorosz
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6/9/2010 10:56    
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My husband and I are planning to move from England to Cuenca in August. I am a qualified teacher with 10 years teaching experience and a degree from Oxford University. If you opt for private tuiton in your home, keep me in mind! If you'd like me to send me your cv, you can contact me on agi_orosz@yahoo.com. Best of Luck with the move, Agi

landlrd2
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6/9/2010 14:15    
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Try the blog "ourecuador.com"

They have a young boy in the household that attends a private school.

CharlieS

LDH
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7/22/2010 22:32    
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Hello Marjorie,

My husband and I are considering moving to Cuenca as well. We are going to make a visit at the end of August to check things out. We also have a 9 year old daughter so I am hoping you can give me some information. How do you and your family like living there? Were you able to find a school for daughters or did you decide on the virtual school? Is there an area that you would recommend us to look for an apartment? Like you, I have many questions. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
Lynda

LDH
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7/22/2010 22:46    
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Hello Agi,

My husband and I are considering making the move to Cuenca. We are going for a visit in August to check things out. We also have a 9 year old daughter and have many questions about how best to address her schooling.

Have you thought about or would you be interested in teaching more than one child? Perhaps a few of the expats with children would be interested in getting the kids together a few days a week for their lessons/homework. It may be something to consider.

I'm sure you are very busy with the move - Good luck.

Lynda

cuenca2005
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9/12/2010 10:29    
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Hello Folks,

A bit off topic, but I thought I'd revive this thread, maybe spin it into a new one.

Over the past five years my wife and I have lived between the US and Ecuador (Cuenca). We have a 3 year-old, about as bilingual as he can be at this age.

Most likely within the next few months we will be moving to Cuenca permanently. My issue is that he maintain his English.

Does any one know of any truly bilingual pre-schools in Cuenca (with native-language teachers)?

How about any privately-organized play/homeschool groups?

In general, I am interested in communicating with Cuencanos returning to Cuenca from the US, English-speaking ex-pats with children in Cuenca, and any Europeans as well.

Do you know of any schools with native English-speaking teachers and/or have you already formed any private groups?

Please let me know, thanks.

groupertrooper
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9/13/2010 22:37    
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LDH!

I sent a PM but don't know if you got it or not - just wondering how things are going and what else you have found out about schools...

Cuenca2005!

We have a two year old daughter and are planning to move to Cuenca withing the next 12 months. We would be interested in some type of play group as well. Also, as far as your son retaining English, I would not worry too much about it. I lived the first 11 years of my life in Honduras and was fluent in not only Spanish, English and German but also Miskito Indian. Don't know how but basically English was spoken at home between my parents and we lived on the Miskito Coast of Honduras until I was four years old at which time we moved to Tegucigalpa. Spanish and Miskito were spoken while we lived in the jungle and then obviously Spanish only in Tegucigalpa. My mother is German and no one in her family speaks English so that is how I learned German. Once we moved to Tegucigalpa, I lost the Miskito as there was no one to talk to. Now I find that my Spanish and German is very rusty but once I am around it with no one there to help me, It comes back amazingly fast with correct dialect and pronunciation!! I even have dreams in one or the other language. A child's mind is just a huge sponge and by allowing your child to be around both native English and Native Spanish speakers, he will pick up both languages with no problem. Once he is ready for the grammer and writing parts that generally come in either language classes - I'm sure you will be able to find someone willing to give private tutoring if it is not available in any schools there. Who knows? Maybe this is a niche to be filled in Cuenca!! Seems there are a few people looking to move there with children...

groupertrooper
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9/14/2010 00:46    
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I meant "within" LOL! I guess I forgot to proof read before hitting send...

cuenca2005
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9/14/2010 04:32    
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Hi groupertrooper,

Thanks for reply.

My concern is that my wife speaks basically only Spanish, so, unless I find an English-speaking group to interact with in Cuenca, I would be the only one speaking to our son in proper English.

I have researched the question for more than a year now, and basically in Cuenca there are no grade schools accredited in the US or UK with a curriculum in English taught by native-English speakers. Also it is uncommon to have native-English speakers teaching English at a private nursery or grade school. There may be a German-language high school.

Though second choice, the only thing left for me to investigate are the language schools, to see whether they have programs for young children and whether the teachers are native English speakers.

You mention a niche to be filled. As usual, you want something worthwhile, you have to do it yourself.

I have advanced degrees in languages, economics, and history.

I am toying with the idea of volunteering at a private school or language school, or perhaps home school which may be much better if done in coordination with other families with native-English speakers.

Home schooling is legal in Ecuador, but it must be done according to Ministry of Education guidelines. So basically homeschoolers would also have to teach an Ecuadorean-based curriculum, which is actually a good thing if a long-term relationship with the country is expected.

In the meantime, play groups for those with young children would also be good.

I would be willing to communicate with anyone with similar interests. I am new to this forum, not sure how PM works here.

agiorosz
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9/14/2010 22:24    
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Hi Lynda,

So sorry for the late reply, we have indeed been very busy with the move. I have started teaching at the university this week, so am busy preparing classes too. I would love to get together with you and discuss options, I am very interested in setting up some sort of study group in my home, so yes I would consider teaching more than one child at a time. My local mobile number is 080863815. I look forward to hearing from you. Agi

agiorosz
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9/14/2010 22:29    
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Hi Cuenca2005!

I heard the "American School" is quite good, I don't know about "truly bilingual" but it might be as close as you can get in Cuenca. It is just down the road from me, and as I said to Lynda, I am certainly interested in exploring options for an English study/play group (as long as you don't mind a British accent!). I am native English from England with a Masters in Education and more than 10 years' teaching experience. Looking forward to hearing from you, Agi

cuenca2005
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9/15/2010 03:42    
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Hi agiorosz,

Thanks for the tip. But it is not clear to me which university you work at (Azuay, Estatal, Pacifico?) and exactly where the "American School" is located. Can you please specify?

Thanks.

agiorosz
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9/15/2010 09:40    
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Hi,

I teach at the Estatal, University of Cuenca in the department of Education.

I looked up "American School Cuenca" on google and got the following info, they don't seem to have a website:

American School
Centro Educativo
Panamericana Norte Km 7.5
2876352
*Celular
08-7187336
E-mail: american_school@hotmail.com

They are on the Panamericana Norte close to "Hidropaute" and "El Molino" I think. About 20 minutes from the centre of Cuenca by car. Sorry, still new myself, only arrived 2 weeks ago.

Hope this helps, Agi

cuenca2005
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9/16/2010 05:23    
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Thanks, Agi. I will try to contact you within a few months.

SCtoSA
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9/17/2010 22:03    
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Hi All:

I just found this forum. My husband and I are contemplating moving to Ecuador with our son (now 10mos) and two older boys (10 + 13). Realistically, I don't think this will happen for a couple of years. My biggest concern is education (US accredited). It sounds like many of you are in a similar situation. Can anyone tell me if more about 'The American' school or any other options and otherwise, what the private Ecuadorian schools are like? Thanks!

cuenca2005
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9/18/2010 13:00    
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There are US-accredited and other international schools in Ecuador's two international cities, Quito and Guayaquil.

The problem is Cuenca, which is basically provincial, though Ecuador's number three city and a regional capital.

Despite some promising-sounding names, there are no truly "American" or "Bilingual" schools in Cuenca. As far as I know, the private schools are bad, the public schools, obviously, worse.

My perception right now is that in Cuenca it will take creative solutions, a combination of homeschool, private groups, maybe a private school, and maybe a language school.

In sum, if you go to one of Ecuador's two international cities, you will have no problem, if you go to a provincial city or town, then creative solutions are necessary.

Hope this helps.

yukonwu
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11/3/2010 03:17    
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Why is "Private school bad and public school worst." Please provide details. We are considering moving to Cuenca with 2 young children.

cuenca2005
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11/4/2010 06:34    
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yukonwu, 11/3/2010 03:17


Why is "Private school bad and public school worse." Please provide details. We are considering moving to Cuenca with 2 young children.

_____________________________________________

The comment is mostly in reference to the teaching of English.

What I know first-hand is that, first, in Cuenca there is no elementary school, as far as I know, where English is the primary language of instruction. Second, while private elementary schools may claim to teach English as part of the general curriculum, in almost all cases the teachers are not native English speakers, and in any case there is no natural immersion, the students have little idea of proper pronunciation, and I doubt that the students will be able to write in English as a native.

On the other hand, on other threads, posters have defended in some cases the quality of Ecuadorean elementary education in comparison to US elementary education, which may not be a surprise given the abysmal state of elementary education in the US. But this probably varies from city to city, from school to school.

Again, as already stated, with regard to the goal of learning English as a native by young children, my perception right now is that in Cuenca it will take creative solutions, a combination of homeschool, private groups, maybe a private school, and maybe a language school.

Let us know if you decide to move to Cuenca with two young children: maybe, along with others in Cuenca interested in this issue, we can form a group.

vandtor
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11/4/2010 07:53    
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It comes down to that as parents you will have to be hands on advocates of your children's education and you will most likely have to supplement your child's education in some manner. Just like any where else in the world, in Ecuador you will find some very good teachers and some very bad teachers often in the same school.

Public schools lack resources so it is hard for them to compete with the private school. Private schools tend to be better but again you must investigate for yourself. The best schools will have waiting lists and some even have more than one session.

While it is true that English is mostly taught by locals but that is no different than foreign language teachers in the US, these teachers are very knowledgeable and most welcome assistance. Some English teachers whom I have known wanted me to help them just by practicing with them to help improve the pronunciation. This is an easy way for Ex-pats to help out.

ILA
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11/4/2010 15:39    
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All I know and I am sliding off topic,children learn from each other most.
In Ecuador ,in our part of the woods,Ecuadorean High schoolers,receive ONE HOUR of English each week.They could never learn English at that rate.
'
That is where Gringos and their children could be of enormous help and thereby of mutual benefit.
I could be wrong.

Silverwater
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11/5/2010 00:22    
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A true bilingual high school should have close to 50% of classes in English. The high school where I teach for example teaches basic English in blocks each day (grammar, speech, writing, reading, up through the equivalent of eighth grade in the states. For the equivelent of Freshman to Senior year, they have a variety of English subjects, for example Literature, Various Sciences, Writing, Speech,Debate, American History, Asian History, European History, and Latin American History. In all honesty I have to say that many Ecuadorian English teachers whip A** when it comes to teaching grammar. They knock the socks off of most native speaking teachers. In most decent schools you can feel reassured that the teachers whether Ecuadorian or Native speakers are very good. There is a lot of opportunity for teacher development in English here. Cambridge runs a slew of free workshops and seminars all over the country, and other publishers also offer many yearly events. The International Congress for EFL is offered bi-yearly in Guayaquil and offers great workshops and continuing education opportunities. Most English teachers here whether native speakers or Euadorian are very good, and take their positions very seriously.

cuenca2005
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11/5/2010 04:36    
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All these general statements of principle and general comments on the situation in Ecuador at large are good and proper, but not particularly helpful.

Here we are seeking specific practical solutions, not in Ecuador, but in Cuenca, names, addresses, times of day, etc.

tjlee500
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11/5/2010 08:32    
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Cuenca2005

Unfortunately you get a few people who monopolize this site with anything that is practical and informative about Ecuador.
There are a TON of blogs about expats in Cuenca who share theit daily experiences and give you what you want...

Here is one:
www.watsontravels.blogspot.com/

If you need more, let me know....

tjlee500
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11/5/2010 08:35    
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Cuenca2005

Here is another:

http://ourecuador.blogspot.com/

SiennaA
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3/23/2011 20:35    
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Hi. I am a current high school student looking to study abroad in Ecuador next fall. I do need to keep up with my American class requirements. I was wondering if anyone has more information on the "American School" or another appealing high school in Cuenca.

Thank You,
Sienna

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