Daphne Hebing

Teach Enrich Empower

Can You Teach Me English, Please?

“Profe Daphne Profe Daphne! Qué significa ‘corazon’ in Ingles?, how do you say ‘te quiero mucho’?, can you translate this song of Eminem for us?” Daily I get a lot of questions from my motivated teenage students in Peru.

Although I hardly consider myself a real ‘profe’ (teacher), my students think I know everything about the English language, and they want to know a lot about it. For them it is a way to be able to communicate with people outside their country, outside their community. A way for a future with more opportunities. Not only are my students keen on learning the language, but on a daily basis people from the village where I live ask me if I can teach them too. Once the word is out that I am teaching English, they ask me which day and what time I am available. Although I can not help everyone, I am happy that because of my TEFL training, I can at least help some of them.

My name is Daphne, 32 years old and I work as a cultural anthropologist. Since September 2019 I have been working for a NGO, a community center and program for educational guidance located in the Andes mountains of Calca, Peru. Our mission is to strengthen local communities through the families and children of the region, which for many is an experience of extreme poverty and domestic violence. Part of our educational program is to provide English classes for the children of the community. Their families don’t have the financial means for qualitative education. Part of my job here is to teach English.

Therefore, before coming to Peru, I did my TEFL online from my home country the Netherlands. This was not all that easy! Because I am neither a teacher nor an English native speaker. I had to study hard for it, but it was definitely worth it. Although I was very nervous before my first ‘real’ English lesson to a group of fifteen ten-year old Peruvian children, I felt like I had the tools to make it a success. And it was!

“Although I was very nervous before my first ‘real’ English lesson to a group of fifteen ten-year old Peruvian children, I felt like I had the tools to make it a success. And it was!”

The students in my English class have a low level of English. Therefore, I have to explain a lot of the grammar in Spanish. In this way both my students and I are learning a new language! Understanding how to teach a language through TEFL, helped me a lot in learning a new language – in my case Spanish- myself.

As said, amongst my students are a lot of  teenagers and I like to make English as fun and interesting as possible for them. Therefore we often translate their favorite music in class. This works really well! Although you really have to review the lyrics in detail..some of my students got really embarrassed when we had to translate the words that were describing a one-night stand..

By the time of writing this, I have been teaching English for 6 months. It is intense, but so rewarding. During the past months I got really excited about teaching because often more than teaching my students about English, I am the one that is learning. After all these experiences I can say, I feel like a real ‘profe’.

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