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Teachers fail English in evaluation tests
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11454
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MotherF wrote:
I have heard that some of them in the large urban centers work with the US Embassy and the British Council to temporarily host native speakers.

Georgetown University''s English Language Fellow (ELF) Program, as a partner with the US State Dept, has projects for American teachers that generally entail teacher training (and teaching duties) in countries throughout the world, including Mexico.
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9650
Location: Mexico City

PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've met many of those coming through the British Council as well as the SEP rep in charge of the program. They don't only go to large cities though the bulk do. Guadalajara was taken off the list this school year for bad timing with a cartel incident last May.

Looks like a good program...they do bring in enthusiastic Brits for it. Hard to say if it is effective on the student and local teacher end though.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1450
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guy Courchesne wrote:
I've met many of those coming through the British Council as well as the SEP rep in charge of the program. They don't only go to large cities though the bulk do. Guadalajara was taken off the list this school year for bad timing with a cartel incident last May.

Looks like a good program...they do bring in enthusiastic Brits for it. Hard to say if it is effective on the student and local teacher end though.


If other factors, class sizes, number of hours of English instruction a week, and outrageously ambitious syllabi, unqualified being given posts, etc. are not changed, it will never matter who the teacher trainers are. The end product will be the same. And every peso spent on English will be a peso not spent on general education.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1450
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi it's me again, I just can't seem to stay away.

I want to acknowledge that Guy is experienced, knowledgeable, and successful, in a certain sector of education in Mexico. But in truth, it's not a large sector.

My experience is almost entirely at the other end of the spectrum.

I'm currently giving up a couple of hours of my Saturday mornings to tutor a high school English teacher. He teaches in Oaxaca's IEBO (Instituto de Education Bachillerato de Oaxaca) System. This system was created to take high schools to more rural areas as most of the other systems like COBAO, are in the bigger towns. There are about 200 IEBOs around the state and about 50 COBAOs. At his school there are only three teachers. He has a BA in informatica no training or experience in English teaching but that's tough, he's teaching it because there are only so many computer classes to give.
His own English is about A2 level, but he's interested in teaching it well. He uses a lot of things he finds on YouTube for support. But the biggest draw back to his students' learning is not his low level but the syllabus his system provides him with and their in house course books. He brings them to our sessions so I can help him prepare his classes. The second year (equivalent of US 11th grade) have a unit this week on modal verbs. The unit starts with a table showing the models. It has: can, could, should, must, may, might, need, have to, ought to, and had better.
Yup, all those models right there on the first page of the unit on modal for students who haven't mastered the simple present. Next week they are on to perfects.
So clearly the answer to the question, "Why don't Mexican high school graduates speak English?", is not " they started too old."
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 1186
Location: 24.18105,-103.25185

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with MotherF, but from a different perspective. Having lots of nieces and nephews and neighbors in public schools and being asked to help with their homework, and seeing the "corrections" provided by their "teacher" who are often at a pretty low level themselves. The books they are required to use, are not at all good, and themselves have many errors. So until, or unless, there is meaningful change in WHO is teaching English and WHAT they are using to teach it, no one is going to graduate with more than a rudimentary level of English.

And think back to when YOU were in HS. If you took a language, like I did, in my case French, did YOU graduate being able to speak that language? I took 4 years of French, an hour daily, and at the end of that time, I could only have a very basic conversation. I had an academic knowledge of grammar with DID help me when I majored in French in college, where I did get to probably a high Intermediate level. And I was motivated, I loved French, I had great teachers, many of them native speakers, I studied, went to conversation groups, etc. And I still did not speak fluent French. The biggest drawback? No one to practice with. And I went to a Catholic school with highly qualified teachers, small classes, the whole nine yards, so not even a fair comparison and still didn't become fluent.

So, yeah, no one in public schools in Mexico is going to graduate speaking English. Not anytime soon.

And the bigger question is, why do they even need to?
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notamiss



Joined: 20 Jun 2007
Posts: 908
Location: El 5o pino del la CDMX

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another data point in support of the above. In high school, we could stammer out sentences in French if we composed them carefully first. We would have been lost in a French-speaking environment, but I think we were taught enough of the bases that we could have improved quickly if we had been immersed.
My high school French teacher was an Englishman, but his French was quite decent.
On the other hand, almost every English teacher that I’ve met in Mexico has not had anywhere near as much competence in English as my teacher had in French. They are well-meaning, enthusiastic teachers, but their level of English itself is bad, bad. They mostly pronounce English as though it were Spanish, and they don’t have enough fluency to get even the basic conjugations of simple everyday verbs right in the simple present.
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wildgrace



Joined: 17 Nov 2010
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:21 pm    Post subject: True bilingualism is tough Reply with quote

I was in a French immersion program from pre kindergarten to grade 12. Classes were in all French until grade 3. Technically i graduated with a certificate of bilingualism in French from high school.

I am not binlingual. Althogn i speak simple French when I need to. You need people, people around you speaking the second language all the time. In the summers there was no one at all to speak French with so I lost a bit every summer and had to catch up every fall.

True bilingualism requires constant reinforcement in both languages. And for most people that is tough. The only true bilingual people I know who speak English and French are people with parents who also speak both languages well.

Many French immersion programs in Canada now require at least one parent in the home speak French before accepting the child.

Language is a living, breathing form of culture. To truly be bilingual you need to live and breath that culture day to day. Learning in a classroom is not enough to be bilingual - or least that has been my experience.

You can certainly learn to speak another language in a classroom, holding on to what you learned outside of the classroom long term requires regular practice in the second language. Or you lose it, not all of it, but certainly some of it, especially the grammar part.

I can still read and speak French okay (14 years of French during childhood did teach me French and its more like simple French now nothing too complex or technical). My grammar was never good, and its definitely where I lost the most once I finished French immersion.
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