Do you know anything about teaching English in Chile? Or about some differences and similarities between Brazilian and Chilean students?
Check this interview (and the complementary one in Spanish) with Alejandro Naveas, ELT in Chile, and find out:
Tell us briefly about your graduation and experience in ELT.
Alejandro - I started about 30 years ago. I graduated from the university and have been teaching English at different levels. That includes kinder, primary and secondary education, adult education and higher education. I have always taught English in Chile but in several universities in the country. I have produced two textbooks for the local market, which were compulsary at school some time ago. At the moment, I am an educational consultant and teacher trainer at different universities.
How do you see ELT in Chile? How can you compare it to other countries?
Alejandro - Some years ago it was a real waste of time and money as nobody cared about it, but for the last 5 or 6 years everyone wants to learn and get a certification. A former ministry of education set goals for the country and for ELT teachers. CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) and ALTE (Association of Language Testers in Europe) levels are taken to be the references to learn and teach in Chile.
What are the main difficulties Spanish-speaking students have when learning English?
Alejandro - Attitude and tradition seem to be the real cause of difficulty. Attitude because most learners feel they cannot learn and they are afraid of speaking and taking risks, and tradition because the grammar-translation method made a great contribution (I am being sarcastic here) and most learners are stuck with grammar.
What are some of the main "false friends" (false cognates) in English compared to Spanish?
Alejandro - All of those that resemble Spanish but among my favourite ones you find "miserable", "diversion", "molest".
Can you identify any differences and similarities between Portuguese speakers and Spanish speakers when learning English?
Alejandro - In term of differences I suppose Portuguese speakers tend to speak much more and are much more interactive than Spanish speakers. Similarities may be found in the way we both construct sentences in our languages which may differ greatly from English.
Any comment you would like to add.
Alejandro - Why don't we start exchanging views and even conducting some research among teachers in differnt parts of the world. We could even engage some learners in this. How do you feel about it?