Posted on April 21, 2012
I got my TEFL certificate the other day. Proof of my having spent 60 hours (*cough* ahem *more like three*) learning how to become the exemplary good teacher and bestow my limited worldly wisdom to an as-yet-anonymous, and potentially quite intimidating, classroom full of foreign schoolchildren. Or adults, even.
Admittedly, much of it is learning by rote the best methods of teaching, which in itself is an important lesson for would-be teachers who would otherwise, albeit with the best intentions in their newfound calling, manage to scar the poor kiddies – or “adulties”, even – for life. Or at least put them off learning the English or indeed any other language.
Also admittedly, there is something of a slight sense of hypocrisy in upholding the importance and value of every language in the “global village” which the world is fast becoming, and then teaching the people who are charged to your temporary care, that actually, English is the way to go. That is, if you want to be acknowledged professionally, or at least have to deal with the vast number of tourists who refuse to shift from their own nicely bastardised version to learn a few helpful words or phrases of your own obscure language.
But it helps a lot of people, admittedly. And it’s not to say that they can’t ditch their home language and culture. It just means that they can speak English to your face, and laugh at you with their comrades in Japanese, or something.