4 abr. 2009

Do I Need to Learn Spanish? YES!!!!!

Speaking Spanish

It isn’t obligatory to study Spanish at ILC while you are working here, but it is obligatory to learn. Most teachers come to ILC willing to try to learn Spanish.  Once they actually get here, however, many find that learning a foreign language is harder, or more time consuming, or more expensive than they thought it would be, and lose impetus to try at all.  We want to convince you to keep trying to learn the language that everyone around you is speaking.

We ask our teachers to speak the target language (usually English) for at least 90% of class time – but understanding what your students are saying when they are unable to vocalise in L2 is a major advantage.

Please be aware that if you don’t speak any Spanish,

  • your students will have a harder time:
    • it gives the impression to your students that you don’t care about their difficulties in learning English.
    • your students will probably complain to the director that you don’t understand what they are saying when they are having difficulties
  • your colleagues will have a harder time
    • some of your colleagues will have to help you every time you need to communicate with the secretary
    • you will only be able to teach the more advanced classes, who can communicate more easily in your language, and your colleagues will be relegated to permanently handling the basic courses
    • your colleagues will be pressganged into translating every time you need a medicine or want to try some new food
    • your Peruvian colleagues will feel you do not care about their opinions or their lives
  • your experience of Peru will be very limited
    • you will have a much harder time making friends with local people, if you do so at all
    • you will pay gringo prices at every turn, and find transportation a bit of a nightmare
    • you will be reliant on the tastes and preferences of other foreigners, instead of finding things out for yourself
    • the new cultures you encounter will remain unexplained and people will be frustrated by their inability to tell you their stories
    • people in the sierra are rather timid, and are rather scared of foreigners. If they think they can communicate with you, however, they will prove some of the most welcoming, generous people you have ever met
    • in our experience, those teachers who get the most of their time in Peru, and enjoy themselves, are those who are prepared to accept the reduced living circumstances inherent in third world countries, and who make an effort to learn peoples’ language and communicate with Peruvian people

It isn’t obligatory to study Spanish at ILC while you are working here, but it is obligatory to learn - at least Basic level Spanish.

If we think you’re avoiding the issue, or if students and parents complain about you not understanding them, we will oblige you to take two classes per week in the subsequent semester.