Two University of Guyana students, Michelle Lewis and Ray Chatterpaul, from the Division of Education and Humanities, Berbice Campus, attended and presented papers at the 21st Islands In Between Conference.

Ray Chatterpaul presented research on the topic Reforms in English Language classrooms in the Caribbean: Lessons for the future, and Michelle Lewis presented on the topic Improving literacy in schools: Teachers’ perception of a literacy hour programme.

Both students were excited by the opportunity to present their undergraduate research alongside postgraduate students and professors. They were also fascinated with the beauty and culture of Aruba. Inspired by what they learned at the conference, the students expressed the desire to participate in future conferences and do postgraduate studies.

Ray Chatterpaul shares some of his thoughts and experiences below:

Completing my research report was a moment of relief and motivated me to make my paper ready for presentation at a conference. This became a reality so quickly that before I knew it I was preparing to leave Guyana for the first time in my life. Despite some minor hiccups, we arrived at the University of Aruba in November 2018 – ready to present our research papers for the 21st Islands in Between Conference on the Languages, Literatures and Cultures of the Eastern and Greater Caribbean.

This experience provided a great insight into the research experience and an appreciation for the work of scholars. I was overwhelmed by the diversity of the researchers and the varied nature of their research interests, which to my great satisfaction were relatable and very close to home.

Presenting my research was a chance to showcase my country’s potential and to become part of the greater move towards an education system that will cater for the languages, literatures and cultures of the Caribbean. In return, I received many helpful comments and suggestions for future research.

At this point, I am working on my final paper for publication and I owe my success to my supervisor, Ms Pamela Rose, for the guidance, support and patience she offers so gracefully. Also to the University of Guyana – especially the Vice-Chancellor for his initiative to establish an Office for Undergraduate Research, which fosters research in such a passionate manner and provided this wonderful opportunity for me. Aruba truly was the experience of a lifetime!

Ray Chatterpaul

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