The Mother Tongue in the Chilean EFL Classroom

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About the author:
Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He is the Coordinator of the English Department at Colegio Dunalastair in Chicureo, located approximately 20 km outside of Santiago, Chile. He has over 15 years EFL teaching experience. He is also the Co-Founder and Co-Organiser of EdCamp Santiago: free, participant-driven, democratic, conversation-based professional development for teachers, by teachers.

Thomas was trained as a nurse at the Berufsfachschule für Krankenpflege, Kreiskrankenhaus Eschenbach, Germany and subsequently worked as a nurse in internal medicine, intensive care unit. In the USA, he worked as a Director of Staff Development, long-term care, and as a Clinic Manager at a community health care clinic for mostly low income, migrant farm workers and their families in Woodland, California. Thomas is also a past member of the Advisory Board for the International Higher Education Teaching and Learning Association (HETL), where he also serves as a reviewer and as the HETL Ambassador for Chile.

The Mother Tongue in the Chilean EFL Classroom

How We Learn English

Authored by Thomas Jerome Baker

After reading this book, you will understand why the Chilean teacher teaches as s/he does, and be in a good position to reexamine your own practice. One of the most defining characteristics of an EFL classroom in Chile is the quality of the teacher. If the teacher teaches English in English, they display what the quality of their beliefs are, namely, "in this classroom there is no place for the mother tongue."

If the teacher teaches English in Spanish, maybe they read my book, but weren't impressed. The teacher's beliefs are also on display, namely, "there is a place for the mother tongue in this classroom."

Who is right? Who is wrong? At any rate, the language that the teacher teaches in, is crucial. It will ultimately define the students' achievements.

As you read the book, stay with me. I have not chosen the direct path, because, if you do not have the background on what it is like to use language as an instrument of national policymaking, then you will end up with a misinterpretation of a simple question: Should the mother tongue be used in the Chilean EFL classroom?

"The Mother Tongue in the Chilean EFL Classroom" is told from my point of view. Yet, in a larger sense, it's an ELT story that makes the effort to share, a moment in time, with some very special people, in a very special country - Chile, a place time forgot, a place where we do things the Chilean Way. Don't bother looking for it on the map. Be content to know it is located at the end of the world, literally...

Publication Date:
1479367230 / 9781479367238
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Foreign Language Study / English as a Second Language

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