Currently, only 2% of Chileans speak English. That means that 98% are missing an important part of content on the Internet, where knowledge flows today in the most accessible.
Fuente: El Dínamo
In the world today, 402 million people speak English as a first language and more than one billion have learned as a second. By 2015, the British Council estimated that two billion people in the world would speak English. That is, two out of every seven people on the planet. Never was a language spoken by as many people as today. English has never been so imperative that Chileans learn it than now. English has become a “must” for the future of Chile.
In Chile, according to figures from Simce 2011, 89% of students in the 11th grade was not certified at the basic level of the language, which is the gateway to the world.
Fortunately, the Ministry of Education is aware of the importance of English and want to improve the quality of teaching, so it recently announced a voluntary evaluation process that will test five thousand English teachers who teach in subsidized and municipal schools.
The improvement of teaching and learning English is a big challenge for Chile, but not impossible.
With this desire, the Educational Opportunity Foundation in conjunction with the Municipality of Paihuano, in the Elqui Valley, Region IV, are working for students to learn good English in nine municipal schools.
Here, we have developed a project aimed at English children from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade that features a self-study program, approved by the Ministry of Education, called “English in the Elqui Valley.”
We firmly believe that the teaching of a second language should start at an early age and have proven this conclusively over the six years we’ve implemented the project.
This, for singing, playing and performing group dynamics, children learn without fear of making mistakes and are motivated to practice.
However, although the methods are paramount, we know that is not enough.
Experience has shown us in Paihuano how important it is that the person giving the courses is prepared and, indeed, to be constantly trained on their strengths and weaknesses as an educator.
That is why our project emphasizes two aspects: continuous assessment (every six months) of teachers in the sector where the greatest needs are identified, and the constant improvement of teachers, for which we have the support of institutions such as the Instituto Chileno Norteamericano and the University of La Serena.
In Paihuano, trainings seek to perfect the use of oral and written English, but also focus on improving educators relevant areas such as lesson planning, techniques of student assessment and development of new teaching methodologies that educators expand their capabilities.
In addition, to produce better learning more than one model of English is needed. That’s why the project also involved volunteer native English speakers, who we bring to the sunny Elqui Valley to work in the classroom, where they support the children’s learning.
This semester, for example, there are five volunteers in Paihuano from the U.S. through an agreement with the American Foundation WorldTeach.
The challenge is great and urgent.
Currently, only 2% of Chileans speak English.
That means that 98% are missing an important part of content on the Internet, where knowledge flows today in the most accessible. If we think of a developed Chile and participate in the world of ideas, thought, technology and science, we have to think of a Chile with children who take ownership of English and are open to all the possibilities this language as a universal one, can provide.
It is a difficult task, but we strongly believe that joining forces with the ministry, schools and daily work of each of those involved, we can be successful.
SIMCE Ingles 2010: The development of the national English test in Chile coincides with my story, which is woven autobiographically into the larger story, a test which apparently resulted in only 11% of students able to achieve a passing score. This book will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will reveal secrets to you that you thought you already knew about tests, test-making, and test-reporting. More importantly, you leave the reading of this book with a renewed sense of confidence in who you are, and what you do…
Paperback: 82 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (March 26, 2012)
I am a teacher, and I teach in Chile. This year a new Teacher Career Law, defining the teaching profession in terms of increased prestige, attracting more applicants from higher performing students, an obligatory enabling exam, higher salaries, fewer hours teaching in the classroom, and higher responsibilities wil be passed, hopefully. This book totally supports the idea that a good law is needed, and now is the time to pass one, even if that law is not yet perfect. We Teachers have such a long way to go, and this is clearly a tremendous step in the right direction. To celebrate, all of the funds received for the sale of this book will go to support the EdCamp Santiago free conference for teachers in Chile. Thank you, in advance, for buying this book. May God Bless You…
Soy el más afortunado de todos quienes trabajan. A un médico se le permite traer una vida en un momento mágico. A mí se me permite que esa vida renazca día a a día con nuevas preguntas, ideas y amistades. Un arquitecto sabe que si construye con cuidado, su estructura puede permanecer por siglos. Un maestro sabe que si construye con amor y verdad, lo que construya durará para siempre.
Paperback: 170 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (July 3, 2012)
Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He is the Coordinator of the English Department at Colegio Internacional SEK in Santiago, Chile.Thomas was recently selected for membership in the Comunidad de Innovación Escolar of the Foundation Telefónica and Foundation Educación 2020.
He is the Co-Founder and Co-Organiser of EdCamp Santiago, free, participant-driven, democratic, conversation based professional development for teachers, by teachers.
Thomas is also an ex member (2010-2011) of the Advisory Board for the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL), where he currently serves as a reviewer and as the HETL Ambassador for Chile.
Thomas enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. Thus far, he has written the following genres: romance, historical fiction, autobiographical, sports history/biography, and English Language Teaching. He has published a total of forty four (44) books overall.
The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family, his wife Gabriela, and his son, Thomas Jerome Baker, Jr.