graculus: (oh please)
[personal profile] graculus
There's a bit of an ongoing debate in my line of work about what you need to be able to do to teach English to people where it's not their first language - some people seem to think that it's enough that you're a native speaker as if that magically gives you the ability to help other people learn it as well. Short version: it's not. Alongside this, there's the whole 'can't it all just be done by well-meaning volunteers?' argument which makes me break out in hives. As if our learners don't deserve properly-qualified teachers who know what they're doing and are paid to do the job, just because the qualification they're doing is tailored for them and not folks who were born here.

We just got some funding to run courses for people who're not otherwise eligible to access our classes (for example, we only have a very small pot of money for asylum seekers to get access to classes each year, so when it's gone that's it) and it's to support volunteers teaching them. See previous argument and why I won't be applying for the temporary secondment to run that project, because I probably couldn't keep my mouth shut about how I feel. The question is, I guess, whether it's better for folks to have something rather than nothing?

I was asked a couple of weeks back if I wouldn't mind one of the volunteers coming to spend the morning with a class I'm teaching, which I happily agreed to. It's useful for us as teachers to see other people doing stuff differently and I have no problem with someone coming in, but then the guy in question turned out to be the absolute epitome of white hipster nonsense. I had my learners asking him questions so they could practice on him and he wants to teach 'poor children in India' but hasn't really got his head around all this grammar stuff. Ugh. Get away with your white saviour BS, 'poor children in India' deserve better than you too. Thanks too for reinforcing my previous decision.
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