“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 is the Coordinator of the English Department at Colegio Internacional SEK in Santiago, Chile. He is the Co-Founder and Co-Organiser of EdCamp Santiago 2012 & Edcamp Chile 2013, free, participant-driven, democratic, conversation based professional development for teachers, by teachers. EdCamp Santiago 2012 was held at Universidad Mayor in Santiago. Edcamp Chile 2013 was held at Universidad UCINF. Thomas is also a 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. Thomas enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. Thus far, he has written the following genres: romance, historical fiction, autobiographical, sports history/biography, and English Language Teaching. He has published a total of sixty one (61) books, all available on Amazon http://amzn.to/Qxmoec . The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family, his wife Gabriela, and his son, Thomas Jerome Baker, Jr.
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