jueves, 9 de octubre de 2008
This happens for many reasons, among which I put our own failure to perform at their level, and even our own procrastination and laziness. We may need to ask ourselves what we are doing to improve our level of English. Have we read any book in English? Are we willing to go to language improvement classes? As long as we keep on letting other people think that we are not good enough for a post teaching English, the situation will not change.
jueves, 11 de septiembre de 2008
This is a question that has been revolving in my head for a long long time. My personal view is that CLT has not solved the main problems: speed and efficiency in learning/ acquiring a second language. In fact, language courses everywhere have increased the time you have to invest to learn well. Just take a look at the programmes offered at the most prestigious institutes. I remember that when I studied at the ICPNA, the basic course was 12 months long, and we could speak English with minor mistakes. Three more months on the PGs and we were ready for their Teachers´ Courses, which lasted, again, 12 months. In other words, in 27 months, that is two years and three months, most of us were ready to pass the
In short, CLT may not be what it seemed.
miércoles, 10 de septiembre de 2008
Many tips can be given but the first, and probably the most useful, is this: be a pro. What does that involve? Many things. In our field, there are two important areas: knowledge of the subject, that is, the language; and knowledge of the procedures; that is, how to teach. With regards to language, you may want to ask yourself the following: Is my command of the language satisfactory? If I haven´t already, can I pass international exams at high levels? (e.g. Michigan Higher, CAE or CPE). In the many years I have taught at all type of institutions and levels, I have found that teachers tend to oversee and regret this important area. The result is that, in the majority of cases, the teachers´ command of the language they want to teach is really poor. If you want to teach English, then, learn it first. But learn it well, and then keep on learning more.
The knowledge of the procedures of teaching is much more than attending “workshops” organized with a commercial objective in mind or going to weekend conferences or taking certificate/ diploma level courses. Going through TEFL topics shallowly, in 90-minute talks or one-month-twice-a-week classes, is not the way to become a professional: more effort is needed. Happily, there are opportunities everywhere. Universities have now opened programmes for teachers who do not have a degree. The quality varies, but the market is full of these so we can choose. It depends on us.