I guess the point of this article is that if you’re good at what you do, you’ll more likely get a job in Peru (LAN Flights) than in the US.
If you get a job as an English Teacher in Peru (Cheap Flights), or if a Peruvian gets a job as a Spanish Teacher in the US, you’re inevitably going to run into the battle of who is the “better” teacher: the native speaker, or the non-native speaker who has a degree in instructional methodologies.
To put the question another way: would you prefer to be taught by somebody who actually knows the language, or by somebody who “theoretically” has been taught how to teach?
The answer is obvious, you pick the native speaker. However, it’s amazing how many people will sit there and fight you tooth and nail with a bunch of ridiculous pseudo-scientific jargon claiming that the knowledge of Instructional Methodologies is more important than actual knowledge of the subject.
Honestly, I’ve run into this program so many times that I decided to take a course to get my “official” teacher’s license, and I’m hear to tell you once and for all: instructional methodologies are a load of bunk.
Actually in Peru, they understand that, at least in the work place where they’re far more inclined to hire a native speaker. The reason isn’t necessarily out of a belief that native speakers make better teachers, however, it’s done because of some absurd aristocratic notion of class (they instantly put you in with the highest possible class in the Peruvian social structure if you’re white…it makes no logical sense…but if you’re white it works to your advantage).
Now, I’m willing to admit that a completely non-dedicated native speaker isn’t going to do as good a job as a dedicated non-native speaker. But when it comes right down to it, pronunciation is a HUGE part of foreign language acquisition and non-native speakers don’t have perfect pronunciation! You can’t “make up for it” with cassettes of native speakers.
Let me put it simply:
TO LEARN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE, YOU HAVE TO PRACTICE WITH NATIVE SPEAKERS!!!!
However, here in the US, they stress methodologies over…well, innate competence in your field…and thus my wife with her 10 years of teaching has to go through a $10K program before she’s “allowed” to teach here (I love how they pretend that they give a shit about the students…it’s all about making money…it always is).
Well, I guess there’s a reason that the US educational system lags behind basically the whole rest of the industrialized world in terms of education. Seriously, I think the whole system should be thrown out and rebuilt…based on the advice of competent professionals and not “educators” (education is not a science people…quit trying to fit a round peg in a square hole).