Teacher Trainers Are Missing the Point

November 29, 2012

A lot of my students are non-native English teachers.

Some of them have extremely high levels of English.

And, I hate to say it, but some of them are terrible: a vocabulary of around 200 words, horrendous accents, only a basic acquaintance with elementary grammar. A lot of them are teaching in preschools while finishing their Master’s Degrees.

One thing I’ve noticed is that the Spanish education system places more emphasis on making big long lesson plans with a lot of pedagogy jargon than they do on the actual learning of English. My students (some of whom would struggle in an intermediate class and who have certainly never had a real conversation with a native English speaker) send me 6-page lesson plans and even longer curricula for correction.

They spend days or weeks missing English class so they can make these lesson plans, their level of English stays low, but they can write long academic justifications of activities that are apparently nothing more than, “Have everybody wave their hands in the air and say HAND!” or “Have everybody point at their ear and say EAR!”

I feel like somebody, somewhere, is missing the point. Massively. Which is the more important skill for an English teacher? Writing lesson plans, or actually speaking English?

More? Try conversation in the Language School #2.

Or you might like this one, about making a living as an English teacher, or this one about the scourge of nativespeakerism. Enjoy!

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About the Author Daniel

How did I end up in Spain? Why am I still here almost 20 years later? Excellent questions. With no good answer... Anyway, at some point I became a blogger, bestselling author and contributor to Lonely Planet. So there's that. Drop me a line, I'm happy to hear from you.

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