:15 Factors that contribute to low level of English spoken in Brazil.
:40 The thing that must be changed in order for Brazil to speak better English.
1:27 Why students can spend years in English classes and not be able to speak English
1:48 The most dangerous idea for a language learner to have in their head
2:16 The most important factor that allows you to speak a language
3:10 What really bugs the shit out of me
Hey there, Josh Plotkin Brazilian gringo here talking about why the level of English in Brazil is so low.
So there are a lot of factors that contribute to why Brazilians don’t speak very good English, and there is a lot of stuff that I don’t think is relevant to this discussion.
Of course Brazil is just coming out of poverty recently and they haven’t invested a lot into English education and they haven’t made it a priority to learn English. OF course all of that is going to effect the level of English that is spoken in Brazil right now, but we can’t really change any of that.
Going forward the one thing we (English teachers) can change is the way that English is learned. Without even talking about all of the infrastructure and programs in place to learn English, I just want to talk about the way that English is learned.
I think that the way that Brazilians are taught English by language schools is really really ineffective. In fact its almost criminal the way that English is taught here in Brazil because the focus is almost 100% on grammar instead of speaking.
I know so many Brazilians who spend years in these language schools and at the end of it (7 years) they can hardly have a conversation. Because what does their class look like? For all of these years they’ve been taking classes they’ve gone in and had maybe a Brazilian teacher, maybe a foreign teacher, but probably a Brazilian teacher speaking to them in Portuguese about English grammar. And they have these standardized tests where they are tested on English grammar. And the students get into their head that what speaking English means is to know English grammar. And this is a very dangerous idea to have in your head when you’re learning a foreign language because it will prevent you from speaking and making mistakes.
Grammar is a very unimportant thing for communication. What is more important for communicate and in order to speak English is your confidence to speak that language. This is something, if you focus un grammar your confidence is going to be wrecked. Because you’re always going to be always be second guessing yourself, you’re going to hear yourself talk and you’re going to realize you made a mistake because you know these grammar rules so well you know all of the ways that you are speaking English incorrectly and its going to hurt your confidence.
And this is why Brazilians don’t speak English very well because schools have been focused on teaching grammar instead of teaching how to speak. You don’t even have to teach how to speak, you just have to encourage someone to speak, give them the confidence to go out and speak. And that’s really more important than grammar.
So this is my little rant on how English is taught here in Brazil. It really bugs the shit out of me that people are taught grammar first instead of how to speak. I really hope that someone watching this video will get it in their head that you don’t need to speak with perfect grammar in order to speak English well.
So that’s my rant, if you think this has been fun or useful I hope you will share it with people because I think this idea needs to be spread more.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, do you think grammar is important, how do you like to learn a language? Go leave a comment down below. Take care.