A couple of weeks ago several of my Argentinian teachers of English friends shared this article (in original Spanish version, sorry!) via different social media. It shows the result of a survey stating that Argentinians scored the best results in a certain English proficiency exam. Somehow the ones sharing it felt and shared the pride of a job well done. It came as no surprise to me. I am from Argentina. I´ve been shaped by and learned from Argentinian teachers. I have worked with them and I am lucky to have many EFL teacher friends. I witness how hard they work daily to share their passion for the English language. As I was reading the post I remembered the many other language teachers I met face to face in the three congresses I attended in my country this year. I heard their stories, all different yet fascinating.
I also met other Latin American colleagues face to face and online and I am looking forward to meeting more and hear about what they are up to, their challenges, and achievements. And I don´t need any article to tell me that they are doing the best that they can with what they have.
If today I can read books, watch films and interact in English it is thanks to a teachers who helped me at different points of my life. I am also lucky to be a native born Spanish speaker. When a student asked me to teach him Spanish this year, I came to appreciate those souls who decide to teach Spanish as a foreign language. (ELA: Español como Lengua Extranjera) This one proved to be another path to grow as an educator, by acknowledging my own language. It was also a humbling experience, my admiration goes to those who decide to swim the waters of the Spanish grammar.
One must love a language a lot in order to decide to become a teacher of that language withou being born a native speaker.
My toss this last month of the year goes to those whose job is to spread their passion for a language and in so doing assume as their mission to ignite the fire in others.
Thank you so much native, nonNESTs, ELA, ESL, EFL and all of you passionate educators out there from whom I get my daily inspiration, encouragement, insights, knowledge.