Teaching and Learning EFL in Spanish Speaking Contexts

International Journal of English Studies, January 1, 2009 | Go to article overview

Teaching and Learning EFL in Spanish Speaking Contexts


The teaching and learning process of English as a Foreign Language has been studied thoroughly through the years and the scenarios. This issue pretended to gather some results of research about the topic conducted in contexts where Spanish is the first language of the students.

On trying to get as much research results as possible, we invited professors of a great number of universities in Spain and Latin America to submit their contributions to this issue. It was a big surprise to learn that at least in Latin America, there is no so much research on the topic as there is teaching.

Raquel Criado and Aquilino Sánchez in their article "English Language Teaching in Spain: Do Textbooks Comply with the Official Methodological Regulations? A Sample Analysis", try to verify up to what point ELT textbooks used in Spain comply with the official regulations prescribed, which fully advocate the Communicative Language Teaching Method (CLT). For that purpose, they selected and analyzed seven representative textbooks of secondary, upper secondary, teenager and adult educational levels. They discovered that in all the materials prevailed above 50% of communicative nature, and that the remaining non-communicative block was covered by activities focused on the formal features of language (grammar and vocabulary). They concluded that the resulting degree of dissociation between official regulations and what is really found in teaching materials may be positive.

The difficulty perceived by seventh grade students in connection to listening activities in the English class, at some public schools in San Juan, Argentina is studied by Marcela Morchio in her article "Listening as an Easy Skill: Analysis of a Particular Context". The author finds as a result of her research that there are several factors that act as constraints on the language learning situation. Professor Morchio with a team of teachers tried to find some possible explanation for the difficulties students were confronted with when learning English at school. They studied the causes of those difficulties and tried to suggest some possible pedagogical interventions to overcome them. They investigated the teacher, the student, the contents and the context.

Carmen Foz-Gil and Isabel Gionzález-Pueyo's contribution to this issue, "Helping Spanish SMEs Staff Develop their Competence in Writing Business Letters", reports on the development of a website tool aimed at helping Spanish small and medium enterprises (SMEs) staff to write their commercial correspondence in English. The website was developed with readyto- use materials, easy-to-manage and flexible enough to serve both as a helping tool at work and as an autonomous e-learning device. The aim of the authors was to compile a comprehensive collection of sentences, phrases and even paragraphs of high occurrence in business letters which could be used as patterns in a wide range of situation or communicative events likely to happen in the process of an international commerce transaction. The paper reports on the methodological criteria and the rationale behind the development of the tool, and describes the steps involved in the design process

Minoritized peoples in Ecuador have the right to learning another language and reinforce their own at the same time? Marleen Haboud discusses this topic in her article "Teaching Foreign Languages: A Challenge to Ecuadorian Bilingual Intercultural Education". After describing the Ecuadorian main linguistic and educational policies in regards to the teaching of foreign languages, the article analyses the contrasting viewpoints of indigenous and non indigenous peoples towards the process of teaching-learning foreign languages, and offers some suggestions and general parameters related to foreign language teaching in the multilingual context of the study. …

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Teaching and Learning EFL in Spanish Speaking Contexts
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