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Old 12-18-2009, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Camberville
11,082 posts, read 15,385,157 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psr13 View Post
Yes, but they still usually teach Spain Spanish in college. My Spanish teachers in college were originally from Latin American countries, and they said that college Spanish is supposed to be taught as Spain type Spanish.
I have never heard that. My college is all Latin American. The only Spain Spanish taught is in Spanish literature classes.

Similarly, all college Portuguese programs that I have looked into (my own school doesn't offer it but you can take it in partnership with most other Boston private schools) teach Brazilian Portuguese.

Also, American English is now the standard when teaching English abroad. Most of my friends teaching in language schools abroad (Korea, Chile, Mexico, Argentina, China) are in American/Canadian only schools. Call it discrimination, but my English friends have had a ton of problems trying to find schools outside of Europe that will allow them to teach simply because they are British.

It's all about what is more useful.
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:42 AM
 
3,764 posts, read 6,985,503 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhpartridge View Post
As I understand the ACTFL proficiency scale, a level 5 is indistinguishable from a native speaker, where a level 4 has complete competence in the target language, while maintaining a non-native accent. A classic example in our day is Arnold Schwartzenegger for a level 4. Typically, a level 5 has learned the second language before maturity. I think Ricky Martin would be an example. A rating of oral proficiency is a credential, albeit one that may be uncontrollable. But I can see where the credential may be attractive to a certain school.

For most schools, the quality of the pedagogy should outweigh oral proficiency in most circumstances, as long as the teacher has reached an acceptable level of oral proficiency. This was the area of my preparation that was almost completely neglected. I have finally reached what I consider a professional level, but it has taken a degree of training that most public school teachers don't usually undertake.

For a school to insist upon staffing almost exclusively with native speakers is unrealistic. And their personnel staff being uninformed as to the professional credentials of second-language learners and teachers compounds the impracticality with ignorance while equating native status with some sort of ideal. The other posters here have overwhelmingly related anecdotes of native speakers who were incapable of instructing American children, youth, and young adults due to non-language issues.

Personally, I think that the native speakers skill is most needed in high-level immersion programs for children whose parents will need them to develop and maintain proficiency quickly. Additionally, adults intent on perfecting their language skills to be able to participate in professional duties also need the nuanced teaching that native speakers offer.

As a non-native speaker, I would hesitate to apply at a school whose needs are out of line with my skill set. Although I have a much higher degree of proficiency than my own position requires, there are situations where I would be unable to meet the needed level. This is even with 5 years of advanced lessons with a native speaker.

If your language skills are truly commensurate with a native speaker, then I recommend getting OPI certification done at a reputable language institute in your area, so that you may use that information to better compete for positions available at that level. The institute may also have an employment register for job information at various levels.

Good luck.
Great post, lhpartridge!
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Sudcaroland
10,664 posts, read 7,480,380 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charolastra00 View Post
Also, American English is now the standard when teaching English abroad. Most of my friends teaching in language schools abroad (Korea, Chile, Mexico, Argentina, China) are in American/Canadian only schools. Call it discrimination, but my English friends have had a ton of problems trying to find schools outside of Europe that will allow them to teach simply because they are British.
It's all about what is more useful.
Never heard about that.
I am a qualified teacher of English and British English is the norm. But there again, maybe it depends on the country. I used to teach in Europe, there may be a question of proximity, GB being nearby. Which would explain why your friends in Central or South America had to teach US English, the USA being closer.
I am just shocked to read that British people were discriminated against in these schools. As long as one speaks the language, it shouldn't matter...
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Camberville
11,082 posts, read 15,385,157 times
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Originally Posted by Sudcaro View Post
Never heard about that.
I am a qualified teacher of English and British English is the norm. But there again, maybe it depends on the country. I used to teach in Europe, there may be a question of proximity, GB being nearby. Which would explain why your friends in Central or South America had to teach US English, the USA being closer.
I am just shocked to read that British people were discriminated against in these schools. As long as one speaks the language, it shouldn't matter...
Accent matters. I would not take another Spanish course without a native speaker- and only a native speaker from the regions in which I have professional interest. I picked up bad habits from a non-native early Spanish teacher but almost all of my teachers have been native (or close to it- one lived in Spain for 10 years and married a Spaniard) since and there's a noticeable difference. My goal with Spanish is to use it, so native, colloquial, regionally sensitive Spanish is essential. The same, I'm sure, is true of English language learners as well.

I do have quite a few American friends who teach English in the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, etc who teach at schools that have a strong preference for American/Canadian teachers. They have never been asked to conform to the British standards. On the other hand, several have commented that in Asia, British teachers are expected to teach American English.
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:03 PM
 
22 posts, read 55,627 times
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I am sorry to hear of your trouble; yet unfortunately I don't think it's THAT unreasonable. It would be nice if it weren't so, but this is language we are talking about here, and being that the native language here is still English, it make sense that students work better with an English speaker.
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Old 12-21-2009, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Sudcaroland
10,664 posts, read 7,480,380 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charolastra00 View Post
Accent matters. I would not take another Spanish course without a native speaker- and only a native speaker from the regions in which I have professional interest. I picked up bad habits from a non-native early Spanish teacher but almost all of my teachers have been native (or close to it- one lived in Spain for 10 years and married a Spaniard) since and there's a noticeable difference. My goal with Spanish is to use it, so native, colloquial, regionally sensitive Spanish is essential. The same, I'm sure, is true of English language learners as well.

I do have quite a few American friends who teach English in the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, etc who teach at schools that have a strong preference for American/Canadian teachers. They have never been asked to conform to the British standards. On the other hand, several have commented that in Asia, British teachers are expected to teach American English.
What I meant is: an Englishman being a native, he shouldn't be discriminated against at all, since he speaks the language. And if it's just a matter of using US vocabulary and culture, then a textbook and audio-visual documents made in the USA can do the trick.
I would personally feel offended if I applied for a teaching job here in the US and was told I can't get the job because I speak France French, not Canadian French or whatever-French! And if they really want me to use a few expressions from Quebec (giving me the reason why it's matters to them), then I can use them. Of course my accent is not Canadian but honestly? Since you are a native speaker, that should be enough.
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