Learning English in Peruvian Public Schools What do YOU think?


By Carmen Hurtado


What would it be if everything you have learned about teaching turns out worthless today? What if, all of a sudden, you are requested to work more hours to achieve certain overnight -goals? Would you be ready to carry out the load upon your shoulder, or would you just ‘follow the sheep’?
As teachers and professionals in this field, we have the thoughtful vow to lead our students and strive for the better in our career.  Moreover, as teachers of English as a Foreign Language, we have enjoyed looking after our students’ learning process in and out. It is quite fulfilling to observe how they gradually develop their skills.  It is time then, to share our thoughts with everyone who is linked with the idea of succeeding in a competitive world; it is time now to discuss what is happening in the field of education in our country. How has this issue being managed, assumed, or treated in the curricula and educational programs along these years? Are we actually aware of the consequences of bursting up the number of pedagogical hours in a native Spanish speaking class, and at the same time supplying the training to non-native speakers, hiring instructors, and supplying expensive trainings? On the other hand, has it been reflected as any other common issue that our authorities could think of, lay on a written project and carried it out once it was time to start it off?
As professionals, it is necessary to let authorities know that this is not a matter of statistics or setting ambitious goals for third parties, but something to be taken seriously if we really want to achieve tangible results in the near future: speaking English as a Foreign Language.
Above all, this situation urges planning and decision-making based on facts – not ‘walking on water’. 
The truth is, times have changed and the world expects professionals who can be ready, who can be part of a team, and communicate with them without any barrier in terms of language. Let’s keep growing together towards the achievement of appropriate EFL-learning in our country. 
Let´s share some ideas. What do YOU think?  How important is learning English for the development of our country? Do you think we are on the right track? What is missing? How is the teaching of English being developed in your workplace?
Carmen Hurtado, graduated in the Educational Field; holds a Bachelor’s degree in Science of Education, and the title of Licenciada en Educación by ‘Universidad Nacional de Educación’. She has also finished her master’s studies in Teaching English as a Foreign Language at Universidad de Piura, and taken some specializations in the EFL and Spanish field. She has worked teaching English and Spanish at prestigious schools, institutes and universities for over 20 years. She currently works teaching online and blended courses at university. Her expertise, dedication and interest to research in the educational field have taken her to participate as a lecturer in the late six Annual Congresses at CIDUP. She works as a pedagogical specialist and a member of the Research Area at Universidad del Pacifico Language Center.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 43 seconds


  1. Broadly speaking, I couldn`t agree more with the fact that it is undeniable that English has acquired an important role in our current society, its political, economic and cultural influence is seen everywhere, being the new Lingua Franca. As Crystal (2005) states: “English is now the language most widely taught as a foreign language” (p.5).

    Since the teaching of English was established in Peru, it has gone through many political changes, lack of proper support from the current government, implementation and available materials for both teachers and students. This problem was generally seen in the state system in contrast to the private one. In spite of the bureaucracy problems and the changeable education policies, the Peruvian state education systems did count on a promising education program including English as a subject with a certain amount of hours and objectives to be fulfilled at the end of every academic school year.

    What is more, it seems that some teachers find it too hard or simply do not want to change their methodology, language program and the teaching materials because most of the time they prefer a comfortable way of conducting their classes rather than trying new things out, teaching innovations, which could represent a challenge or the mere fear to the unknown. Additionally, the teaching of English has a lot of potential in terms of educational research, innovation and a depth understanding of the language learning process, however this can only be attained if proper teaching education and training is offered to the in service teachers so as to change their minds and getting better results for the benefit of language learners.

    Crystal, D. (2005). English as a global language. Cambridge: CUP
    Bowers, R. (1986). English in the world: Aims and achievement in English Language Teaching. TESOL Quarterly, Vol. 20 Nº 3. September 1986.
    Holliday, A. (1994). Appropriate Methodology and Social Context. Cambridge: CUP

    Docente: Walter fernandez

  2. There's a lot I love about being a teacher… a one-of-a-kind profession that keeps my brain young, allows me to keep on my journey as a student and a lifelong learner…it's like you are use to doing something truly fulfilling, and soothing. I've got to admit that if it weren't by parents, I would have been a frustrated nurse.
    It all started when I was at the board trying to figure out how to find the right number subtracting a bunch of exercises and the teacher neither had been noticed on my cognitive problems nor my story outside those walls. Suddenly, the girls around started to raise hands and finish my task but that made me break into tears; that teacher ignored my trouble and shouted at me in front of everyone saying same time how come someone like me coudn't have solved such problem but others did. That was one of the worst experiences -as a student- I've ever had.
    Back home that day, my dad said that teacher had something she needed to heal in her very soul… time passed by and math still was a nightmare to me; I always hated it! There was a wound in my heart… A few years later while studying SS -age 7- mentorship was quite great at school and had great teachers, devoted to their careers, passionated and caring. I then chose teaching to enrich my mind and become a better person just like my SS, Arts, and Philosophy mentors.
    Along these years, I've always tried to strive for the best -not the most perfect but a good model to kids. Everywhere I've been to I had the chance to share and teach not only EFL but also ESP. Teaching in a Spanish speaking country like ours is quite a challenge. There's much to shape, polish; keeping in mind that this profession comes from the soul, giving up ego and having strategies -under our sleeves- to classroom management. Mocking, misbehaviour has been an issue hard to handle for most teachers these years at low-middle-income class schools… so president and authorities should be more to the ground and settle better objectives like giving a solution to violence first.

  3. Thank you for your comments Walter. Definetely, there are still many educational aspects to be improved. It will depend on how ready we all are to first of all share ideas, and second, a serious commitment of our authorities to work for it.
    Keep following us Walter, thanks.

  4. Dear Cecilia,
    Thank you for sharing your feelings as a teacher. Fortunately, the bad turn into the most satifying experience that led you to be a colleague of us. Fantastic! I absolutely agree with you that there's much to shape, polish, and much more in our educational world. This window offers us the space to share ideas, suggestions, comments, etc. so that we can be heard by everyone.
    Thanks for visiting us and stay tuned.

  5. I think, the situation in state schools in Peru is changing for good. At the moment, I'm not working at a state school, but I did for quite a long time and it was alll very different.

    To start with, now English has got more than just 2 pedagogical hours a week. Nowadays, there is a book designed by the MED to cover our students' needs. As well as that, last year, I happily learnt that 2 friends of mine working for state schools had been granted a scholarship to do ELT courses in the USA and in the UK, isn't that awesome? I see a bright future in EFL in Peru !


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