Teaching latin American Adults: Advice needed!

For general discussion between ESL teachers.

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Teaching latin American Adults: Advice needed!

Unread post by kaya » Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:26 am

I am a very new ESL teacher- in fact, I am still working on my MA TESOL, but took a very part-time job for some experience. I teach English for a company and work with mostly adult latin American males and females. The ladies work in a hotel and the guys work in the kitchen, so I teach them seperately due to their schedules. Anyways, things are going pretty well with the ladies- I feel like they are benefitting and enjoying the class. I mostly teach them 'things they need to get by- such as doctor visits, job searching, etc... The guys, on the other hand, are so much more difficult to teach! They don't seem as interested and lately, there have only been a few at a time in class. They are also multi-level, so I don't know how to keep them all engaged without the class being too difficult or easy. They don't seem to want the same 'survival english' that the ladies do. Most of them can't write in English and say they want help with that. Does anyone have any suggestions of lesson plans and activities that I could use with these guys to keep them interested in learning?! Any thoughts, resources, personal experiences would be soo much appreciated!
Thanks much

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Unread post by abedri » Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:28 am

hi what you need is to see their real motives iof they are really intrersted in learning, besides thet must be divided in to groups , i think

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cross-cultural communication...

Unread post by eric_p_m » Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:10 pm

Dear Kaya,

Latin American cultures have a different temporal concept than what you are accustomed to. Arriving up to an hour and a half late is acceptable in many circumstances. The educational system actually reinforces this mentality as do additional cultural factors such as conceptual truth, gossip, and family networking.

Do your students consider you as their teacher or just as a student? Power distance in Latin American cultures is also greater than in the US, being much more formal in many aspects.

Traditional responsibilities have everything to do with gender roles in Latin America. Your curriculum should cater to this fact.

As far as writing goes, most Latin American education systems do not emphasize compositions in school, much less afterwards. In my experience, most Latin Americans that travel to the US to work do not have strong academic skills in their native language, much less English. It is highly probable that they can't read or write in their mother tongue.

If you would like to talk to me further, please feel free to visit me working in my on-line school. I would be happy to talk to you there.


Eric Paul Monroe


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