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Students' attitudes toward English in Colombia

 
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manholecover



Joined: 14 Oct 2011
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:01 am    Post subject: Students' attitudes toward English in Colombia Reply with quote

Hi,

I'm trying to teach in Colombia this year and wanted to find out the appetite for English in most cities, especially on the Caribbean coast. Are students eager to learn English or is it something they have to do and do so with less exuberantly than say flossing their teeth? Are most of the English students at language schools or universities upper class and educated? How has your experiences been working with Colombians in English classrooms?

Thanks!!!

MHC
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spanglish



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 584
Location: working on that

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adults at institutes - extremely motivated, generally pleasant to teach

University students - from very motivated to fairly apathetic, generally very pleasant to teach

Teenagers and kids - from very motivated to apathetic to downright hostile, very difficult to teach in a K-12 context

At language schools you will have middle-class professionals. Universities will be upper-lower class to upper-class depending on if it's public or private.
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manholecover



Joined: 14 Oct 2011
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks, spanglish! I appreciate all your responses and advice!
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Gregorio



Joined: 17 Aug 2004
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with what Spanglish said. At the top tier colegios, there is a lot of money and the students all have drivers, maids, nannies, buttwipers, etc. The only adults in their lives that aren't servants are their parents. In turn, they often transfer this "servant" mentallity toward the teacher.

It's sad really, but this makes them difficult to teach and outright disrespectful, more so than in the United States in my experience. From what I hear, it is often more difficult in English classes because they plagiarize very often and don't seem to understand why it's wrong. I teach math and history, but I have had the same experience, just on a smaller scale. They often want to speak in Spanish, but obviously in an English class, this is only going to hurt. You have to be really strict and penalize them if you hear them speaking Spanish.

I would say that a class of 10 rich caribbean colombians is like a class of 20 average students in the United States, not including extreme urban/ghetto environments.
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spanglish



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 584
Location: working on that

PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your perspective, Gregorio! I put in a year at a very rich school on the coast - I definitely agree with what you have to say.
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windowlicker



Joined: 05 Jun 2008
Posts: 183
Location: Bogotá, Colombia

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gregorio wrote:
I would say that a class of 10 rich caribbean colombians is like a class of 20 average students in the United States, not including extreme urban/ghetto environments.


Every time I hear people say they want to move to the coast, all I can ever think is, "you have absolutely know idea what you're getting yourself into." It's not all surf's up and carnaval all year round.
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G22



Joined: 25 Oct 2010
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All of my students have been eager to learn. The people at institutes put up their own money to take classes and they generally want to get the most for their money. High school (colegio) students can sometimes be a bit difficult, but they generally become enthused if you make the lesson interesting.
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