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English Language Teaching in Latin America

April, 2020

Number 21

In addition to the 49 articles already in the library, this 21th number of ELTinLA online magazine offers you this new one:

2 frameworks for ELT and 1 national English programme in Latin America: Part 2


If you’d like me to consider an article of yours, look at the box below and send me an outline of your proposal of between 150 and 250 words.

I’m especially interested in accounts of notable improvement and relative success in ELT in schools with not very favourable conditions (e.g. only 3 or 4 effective hours of class a week, and groups of 30 or more students). School is where most people who will need English as adults should get to at least a basic functional level in English, but many young adults enter higher education in Latin America with little or no English, and a lot needs to change in most school ELT in Latin America. Of course, it’s never too late to learn English, and ELT in higher education and language centres is vital for those who miss out with school ELT, want to get to a higher level in English, or want to learn the English they really need for their professional studies and work. Articles about those spheres of ELT in Latin America are also welcome.

Children and teenagers are the beneficiaries or victims of most ELT in Latin America, and around the world. They’re beneficiaries when the ELT is of at least fairly good quality and in reasonable conditions, and when most or many of them really do need to use English in their adult lives. They’re victims when the ELT is of poor quality, or worse, and especially when it’s also in poor conditions, and even more, of course, when most of them never need English in their adult lives, as is the case for most children in Latin America. The happiness and satisfaction of beneficiaries is usually great, sooner or later – often beginning in the school English classes (unless they have terribly strict and humourless teachers) and certainly later, enjoying the benefits of knowing English as adults. The woe and dejection of victims can be equally great, but the classes themselves may, in fact, have had some fun in them if the teachers are pleasant or jolly, even if they or the conditions don’t allow much actual learning of English. There’s little to excuse for so much poor quality compulsory ELT, and the fact that most of those children won’t need English as adults makes it worse. Fortunately, many of those that really do, will find a way to learn English later in life, in a language centre, online, or simply through exposure and use.

Anyway, Happy Children’s Day to the children in your life, and the child still playing in your heart! And, especially if you’re “getting on a bit” like me, may you get through this Covid-19 crisis fairly comfortably and come out of it ready to face whatever lies ahead.