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    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Czech
      • Home Country:
      • Czech Republic
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil

    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 3
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    #1

    Question Teaching English in the Third World

    Does anyone have any experience in teaching English in a third world country?
    What methodology do you use when teaching students with low level of basic education?

    I'm been teaching for 2 years in Brazil, mainly rich people. Now I'd like to teach underprivileged people but I find it rather challenging. The traditional academic approach to teaching English seems to fall short here.

    Any advice would be highly appreciated and would help me greatly in this effort.

    thank you,
    Ivan

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 44,657
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    #2

    Re: Teaching English in the Third World

    For one thing, you have to take a lot of care with assumptions about background knowledge and culture- I live in a country with no public transport, so lessons about how to use the London Underground can be confusing and difficult. When such lessons are used to teach grammatical points, it can fail to make things clear. An IELTS question about gap year activities completely threw students here, as the concept was completely new to most of them. My Khmer teacher asked me the other day what the white stuff in her sandwich was (mayonnaise), which served to remind me of the considerable cultural differences there are.

  1. konungursvia's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
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      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Mar 2009
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    #3

    Re: Teaching English in the Third World

    Try "edutainment" -- a horrible neologism but a valid approach.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

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    #4

    Re: Teaching English in the Third World

    And don't necessarily expect much in the way of facilities like access to photocopiers. Be prepared for things like power outages.

  2. konungursvia's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
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      • English
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      • Canada
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      • Canada

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    #5

    Re: Teaching English in the Third World

    And be sensitive to differences in point of view. A colleague taught in Saudi Arabia, then came back and told me how everyone did poorly on the US Army-designed English placement test, because it was full of assumptions: A picture of a clear sky with the sun high in it represents:

    a) a stormy day; b) a bad day (they all answered b); c) a nice day (the US Army's correct answer); and d) a cloudy day.

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