Carmen – Peru
What a fantastic idea to share our experiences as ELT teachers in different parts of the world!!
I am a Peruvian national and have been involved in ELT for nearly 25 years. In fact, I hold a diploma as a graduated translator and interpreter, but since my first year university break (3 months vacation) have satisfactorily been teaching English in private institutes or universities here in my native city Lima, the capital of Peru.
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Unfortunately, I can’t tell you much about teaching English in public schools for I have never had the opportunity to teach in one of them; though, the reason is rather obvious: very low pay and very little infrastructure. The latest idea to come out of the Ministry of Education is that students should only attend 1 hour of English in their weekly curricula!! Public teachers, I believe, are the heroes of our society, I must sadly admit that in Peru we do not respect teachers very much. This sector goes on strike quite often and the reason is fair: if they are badly paid, how can they feel motivated to teach? You may say their love and devotion to their vocation should be their only goal, but that is not enough! Their salaries might go from $130 or $200 a month.
So, you can predict that I am one of those very few privileged people who have the chance to work in institutions where teaching English is actually implemented with very comfortable highly-tech facilities.
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The future seems to be rather blurry here in Peru nowadays, but I believe that in spite of all the problems that we have had to face in the last decades, people have started to have some sense of solidarity. My dream is to be able to eventually involve both systems and help public schools with the innovative ideas that private universities can share in seminars that are from time to time held in places like the university where I work: this university, San Ignacio de Loyola, is a very good example of this idea.
Every year the university holds an excellent seminar, usually in June for a very low price ($10) which teachers from all over the country can attend; so far these seminars have been a total success, we have foreign and native lecturers. Many publishers help us support them and, fortunately, we are helping the less privileged to improve their skills. I only wish there would be more institutions that will foster these types of seminars at very low cost.
At present I am doing a Virtual MBA and I would love to hear other colleagues’ advice on the issues I have above mentioned..
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