“The Mother Tongue in the Chilean EFL Classroom” by Thomas Jerome Baker

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“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. 

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. 

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About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
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