Jul 4, 2012
I was a teacher at a public school for nearly 10 years, I resigned 2 years ago. It is true what you all say, but even if you have the qualifications, the books, the lack of CDs (or sound systems in your classroom), the number of students, the number of hours, which are "pedagógicas", will not contribute to our teaching.
I have to admit that in order to cover all I had to do in a semester, I ended up using the very famous grammar translation method and the audiolingual method, as it was easier for me and my students. What would you do if your 2 hours were split into 2 different days and you had to cover a number of topics before the end of the month? It is difficult to include more communicative activities, when you have loads of things to cover in such a short number of hours.
Well, that´s all for me now.
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
I completely agree with Cesar. I guess I was not clear in my opinion. In relation with level of English, I did not mean KET level as the goal, I was thinking of PET "at least to begin with",like the first step, knowing the reality of pubic school especially outside Lima region.. The ideal situation is to have FCE GRADE A as a minimun requeriment.. But being completely honest this is not a close target in short term..It is absolutely true "you can not give something that you do not have"..
Victor Hugo Corzo