Teaching English in Argentina, for an Argentinian, is not difficult. Learning English was not difficult for me, either. I teach English and specialise in English grammar. I understand what I read and hear, people understand what I say and write, so everything seems to be ok.
However, problems may arise when I come to a forum such as this. I'm really happy I've found it and I've read many of the questions, answers and comments posted. And I'm learning new things.

I have also posted to some threads, giving answers to grammar questions. And now I'm thinking that many of the thigns I've always been sure of are not really so clear-cut or so simple as I thought.

I guess this is my personal way of introducing myself to this forum and the to people who contribute to it, and it is also an apology in advance. I tend to sound very self-confident, and I'm afraid the things I post might make me sound like the know-it-all type, which I am not.
There is a small English-speaking community where I live but, of course, I don't speak or hear so much English as I do Spanish. So I will make mistakes here, I'm sure I will. I am also sure I will find the answers to many of the questions I have.

So, this is a hello, an apology, and a thank you, all in one post. You have a great "place" here!

Miriam
down here in Argentina
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Lovely post Miriam, welcome to the forums.

Is there a large demand for the English language in Argentina?
Thank you for the welcome, Chris.
Again, I think these forums are a great place to learn. I love the English language, and its history and its grammar are two aspects I've been very interested in since I started studying. My friends here most of them teachers, as well think I'm crazy because I like English lots more than I do Spanish!

There is a large demand for English in my country. Don't forget we are a colony of English speaking peoples, even if not "officially". English is a compulsory subject at school -from 4th grade on. There are also zillions of "private schools" devoted only to the teaching of English where you can learn just for learning's sake, you can study to sit for international examinations (FCE, TOEFL, etc), and you can also study ESP (business, medicine, law, engineering). In most universities both state and private throughout the country you'll find teacher training courses. I'd say almost everyone here knows some English!

You must be aware that, in many third-world countries, there is usually resentment against the British, and even stronger resentment against the Americans. In spite of that, however, most people seem to understand the importance of learning English. It is good to see that people can separate personal feelings from what has become a cultural fact today. People need to have a good command of English nowadays, no matter where they live or how they might feel about the British or the Americans.

There is only one thing about teaching English in my country that doesn't make any sense to me. It's actually more than that, it isn't logical and it isn't right. But, it happens al the same. In mane schools and institutes, native speakers of English will be preferred as teachers to Argentinians. The reasons are obvious, but they are still the wrong reasons: of course a Britishman, an American, an australian, etc, will sound much better than we Argentinians do. And they will be offered positions very often, only for that reason, *** if the only qualification to call it something they have is the fact that their englisg does sound "English". It doesn't matter that you've studied English forever, as well as pedagogy, psychology, diction, phonetics, history, literature, history of the English language. That's the only complaint I have.

It's funny in a way. Most Argentinians will complain about both the British and the Americans, yet this has been a "habit" here for as long as I can remember they will always try to imitate them. Inspite of the hard feelings, most Argentinians are sort of envious, and they also think there is a matter of "social status" involved in acting as if they hadn't been born here and in always watching intently what people with a different culture are doing, because it seems that "anything that comes from abroad will be better than what we have here". No wonder we're a third-world nation! We may have electricity, running water and computers, but that won't necessarily get us a rational mind.

It seems I got carried away! ~chuckles~
This is not a personal complaint about anyone but my own people. I personally don't blame either the British or the Americans for the state of affairs in my country. It is unfortunate, and I do hate to admit it, but Argentinians have what most of them deserve.

Mind you; if you're thinking of coming to my country to teach English, you will be treated as if you were Chomsky... but you'll get paid as if you were "a barbarian of the pampas" yourself! ~laughs~

Miriam
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Hi Miriam,
Welcome to forums. It's always good to have a fellow teacher in South America joining the forum. I was very interested in all that you wrote about English in Argentina. There are a lot of similarities to the situation in Chile (where I am based). I look forward to seeing you around here some more.
Rob W.
Hello Miriam,

I hope I do not sound patronising but you're use of English is great, better than many native English speakers I know.

The same phenomenon you mentioned exists in Japan (where I am). Japanese people want native English teachers, even though there are some Japanese people whose understanding and use of English is better than most native speakers that teach English here.

Anyway, I hope you have fun here at the Forums. It's a great place for people to exercise and improve their English - even native speakers.

Bye for now.
Miriam, you must be really proud of your English.Wow, wow, wow! Nobody has ever said anything like that about mine and I have been here for ages. Emotion: crying . Nobody loves me. (l) Nobody speaks to me. (t) Everybody is angry with me.Emotion: angry What have I done to deserve this, Miriam ?
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Hello, Rob. Thank you for the welcome. Emotion: smile
So you're in Chile? We could say we're neighbours! It's good to meet someone who is in South America. We sometimes feel a bit lonely down here, far from the "civilised" world!

Mike, it's nice to meet you.
And you don’t sound patronising. This is not the first time I've been told that my English is –at least from a grammatical point of view- good. I would say "suspiciously good". That is what usually gives me away with native speakers, most will notice I'm not one of them. It's not because I sound any better, but because I sound different, not really natural. My English tends to be a bit too formal on occasion, but then, I tend to be rather formal myself, regardless of the language I may be using. Some of my friends here even say I'm stiff!
Rob found similarities concerning teaching English in my country and in Chile, and now you say the same happens in Japan. I'm surprised this "phenomenon" is so widespread. I thought such things would happen in Argentina only!
I thank you too for the welcome. I find these forums really interesting, helpful and enlightening. I'm not just improving my English, but I'm getting first-hand information about English in other cultures as well. I couldn't ask for more, could I? Emotion: smile

Maj, please don't ask me. I might feel tempted to answer!!
Anyway, I will just tell you something that works pretty well with me, it's an idea I "borrowed" from Plato: I talk because I have something to say, not because I have to say something.
Wise guy, wasn't he?

Miriam
Got to this one late!

Welcome to the forums Miriam - it sounds like you'll be a valuable contributor here! - We ALL make our little mistakes here and there; we should develop a game to find themEmotion: smile

Frank.
I bags player name 'Bad Apostophe Man'.
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