Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Why is English in the news in Brazil?
'Veja', one of the most popular weekly magazines in Brazil, has dedicated its cover story this week to discuss the importance of learning English for a successful career in different areas.
In order to do that, the story presents some people reporting the problems, benefits and difficulties they had while trying to learn English. It also brings some basic tips about how to deal with false friends and even a Language quiz.
But behind of all the usual stuff there's this uneasy data showing that, generally speaking, the Brazilian results on international English exams are poor.
That's not surprising, if we consider that Education as a whole in Brazil has a lot to improve. We still lack maturity in many aspects. Believe it or not, even today we can find teenagers who underestimate the value that learning English could add to their formation. They rely on technology, like Google Translator, for their basic everyday needs and don't seem to care about communicating effectively. Maybe that's the reason why Veja's story emphasizes that adults still can succeed on language learning. Adults surely understand what our kids don't.
Now that Brazil is economically stronger and about to hold the Fifa World Cup and the Olympics, there's this increasingly worry about the lack of qualified personnel who can really communicate in English.
And that's how the topic became a cover subject. Many companies have to invest in their staff, but we all know that learning a language takes a little time. And on business, time means productivity and profit.
For us teachers all this situation might mean great job opportunities, but it also means a lot of hard work.