Jul 4, 2012

Re: [ELTeCS_PE​RU] : My opinion on the Public schools issue

Dear ELTeCs_Peru colleagues,

I taught ESL in Peru for 19 years from high school to grad school levels until July 2006. I worked with Cesar and many of the people from this list, I know you might now say that "ya no tengo vela en este entierro" and even though I don't teach ESL anymore I still see myself as an ESL teacher, so this is my take on this matter anyway. The FCE level (A or B) or a good TOEFL score (90 or above) have been the minimum English language requirements in many places in Peru for years. I perfectly understand the situation is completely different at public schools, I myself went to a public high school and a public university in Lima, I know the limitations of foreign language education in public education in Peru too well.The British Council has been training/working with public schools future and practicing ESL teachers for years now. I remember they used to have agreements between several public universities/colleges precisely to improve their future ESL student teachers' English level, there used to be seminars, workshops for this purpose as well, I used to travel the country lecturing on the TOEFL exam to teachers in distant provinces/public schools that otherwise would have found it really hard to know about it, I even remember having trained several groups of students from IPN myself in the early 90s. Have all these not been enough? Why is getting an intermediate level of English such an insurmountable task for many after all these years of (to my knowledge) sustained training? I think of public teachers of different subjects too, do Math, PE, computer,etc teachers in public schools have the same problems to achieve the core/basic levels of proficiency in their subjects to be able to teach them? Do these other subjects receive the (much/little/inexistent, you tell me) help ESL teachers get? No? What is the truth behind this?I totally agree on the minimum English proficiency level required to have the right to stand in front of a language class, whether it is a kindergarten or UCLES Proficiency class, there seems to be no disagreement in there. Regards and keep up the good work,

Edgar LarreaU. of South Carolina

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