ESL Teaching Guide - Cuba

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Leonar Hernández - May 2004

I am from Santa Clara, Cuba. I am currently teaching at the School Of Tourism and Hotel Management "Alberto Delgado" in Santa Clara (there are 14 such schools in the country, all of them grouped under FORMATUR, the national system for the training of human resources for the hospitality industry.

The positive aspects of my current teaching job: Compared to working for the national educational system (state schools), we are privileged: We get computers in our department, we've got "The New Interchange series", we've got tape recorders, our students are more interested in learning a foreign language - as they are going to use the language afterwards in the workplace. English is given 4 periods a day, Monday to Friday, for 3 months for the first level, 6 for both the first and second and 9 for all three levels, unlike secondary schools where you get three periods a week.

The negative aspects: We haven't started teaching EOP (English for Occupational Purposes), which would be the logical choice, we teach in hot classrooms and students can't stand lessons in the afternoon, which is usually necessary as we don't have enough classrooms, and the pay is lousy, as for most everyone working for the state in our country -about $23 a month. However, compared to other schools under the Ministry of Education, we're "home-free".

Suggested Reading

Lonely Planet Cuba
The Rough Guide to Cuba
Living in Cuba - First Stop for Your Second Language Needs
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