Monday, 13 May 2013

Praying in South Africa

Our recent holiday was good for our prayer life.

We prayed for reconciliation and healing at St. George's Cathedral in Cape Town, with a multicultural, multilingual congregation, in the same sacred space where Archbishop Desmond Tutu decried the heresy of apartheid.

That was pretty special.

We prayed spontaneous doxologies when zebra, giraffes and elephant wandered across our path in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi, when we saw the stunning sunrise over King Shaka's old hunting ground, and when we reached the sun-bleached Cape of Good Hope where Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet.

And we prayed and prayed when we broke down by the side of a busy road!

Before our safari, we had a blow-out on the main road.  Lucky for Clare, Hannah and myself, Sarah is an expert tyre-changer.  In a mere 10 minutes, we were back on the road, making a detour to nearby Mtubatuba which from what we saw was a mainly Zulu town consisting of garages, fried chicken places and street kiosks.  It was Saturday mid-morning, and market day was winding down.

The garage owner smiled apologetically.  "It's a Chevy Spark.  We don't have a tyre that size.  Nowhere will.  We could have it here by Tuesday."

So, we took the risk of a two-day game drive on gravelly paths punctuated with regular potholes, praying the whole time that we'd be OK.  We did not want to get another flat in the middle of Mfolozi Reserve.  We could get eaten by lions!

On Sunday afternoon, having seen three of the 'Big Five' and lots more, we drove on to St. Lucia hoping to see hippos and crocs, but they were hiding.  So homeward we went ...

Until we sensed deja vu, the rasp of rubber on road, the unsteadiness of the metal encapsulating us, ... another blow-out.  And for no apparent reason, no nail, no glass, just a massive hole in the tyre.

And no spare.

Now, you don't want to hang around the side of a road in South Africa (nor anywhere else really). 

The breakdown people could tow us back into Mtubatuba, but everything was shut there, and we knew it would take a few days to get another tyre.  Clare called friends back in Durban, who called friends of friends closer to where we were, and soon we had an old Afrikaans couple with us.  He had brought a few spare tyres in assorted sizes in case one might do, but no such luck. 

Meanwhile, his wife rang around her friends and neighbours.  In earthy, guttural tones, she seemed to be asking, 'You know that young girl, lives above the liquor shop down the street from you, parks behind the garage, is it a Chevy Spark she ... oh.  A Micra.  Well, what about that man from ...'.

Sarah had a brain wave.  She decided to look for a Chevy Spark and flag it down and offer to buy their spare tyre.  Now it's not the commonest of cars, but within a few minutes there one came - no, it's a - yes, it's a - no, that's a - yes! yes! a Chevy Spark! STOP!!!

It drove on past.  A woman at the wheel, three daughters with her.  There was no way women would stop on a South African road when flagged down by strangers.

And then, our little miracle happened.  The Chevy slowed down and pulled over, turned around and approached us cautiously.  This woman must be crazy, we could be anybody!  We could do anything!  This was a country infamous for car-jacking and violent crime!  Yet, she stopped, yes she'd just had some new tyres put on, yes she had a spare.  She said she didn't want to exploit the situation, she'd take 200 rand - Clare knew it was worth at least 500, paid that, and gave her details in case the replacement was more.

In minutes, we were roadworthy again.

During all of this, we were praying like mad.  Not pretty, considered prayers either.  Prayers along the lines, Oh please please please God, get us home!  We don't want to spend three days in Mtubatuba!  Please don't let anything happen to us!  We're scared!

I think we realized, far from home, with no ATM close by, in a foreign country, knowing these highways were used by bandits and car-jackers, that we couldn't help ourselves.  We weren't self-sufficient, we needed help from up above.

Richard Foster's book 'Prayer' (does what it says on the tin) surveys many kinds of prayer: intercession, praise, praying during the long night of the soul ...  But he begins in chapter one with 'simple prayer'.  Immediate needs (and wants).  He says if we can't start with childlike prayer, we won't progress to more spiritually advanced prayer. 

Our experience in South Africa reminded us of our need for simple prayer.  And it's absolutely compatible with Christian faith, including mature faith: God concerns himself with our lives, including little details, and he acts providentially as a result.

Providence is a philosophical minefield, but we aren't asked to reconcile conflicting strands of logical dialectics; we're just asked to have faith in our Father who cares for us.  And, on the main Mtubatuba to St. Lucia Road in kwaZulu-Natal,  he certainly did.


Giraffe on safari spots rare Irishman


I was reduced for two days to my five-year-old state.  I was going to see animals in the wild!  We were going for two days to Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Reserves in South Africa!
I had been well warned, as is appropriate with all five-year-old boys excited to see animals - that I was not to set my expectations too high, just in case.  Wild animals do not perform on cue.
We had a picnic lunch and a good stretch just outside the park gates, knowing it would not be wise to open the car door for several hours thereafter.  Then, with binoculars, camera and wildlife guide in hand, we left the road, past the triangular sign depicting lots of dangerous hazards like lions and crocodiles, and officially entered The Wild.  Grrr!
Hazard symbols not found in
the Northern Ireland Edition
of the Highway Code
The reserves we visited were Zulu King Shaka's old hunting ground, and we soon lost sight of the perimeter fence and were in a landscape completely empty of power lines and rondavel houses.  The reserve is hilly and mostly forested with open savannah in places.  Africa!  My inner five-year-old could barely contain the excitement.
Twenty minutes in, we came across a car stopped near the hillside.  Clare pulled up and asked if they could see anything.
"Look, way over there, on the other hill, there's a rhino!"
My three companions saw it, just about, but I could not see any rhino, either with or without binoculars.  OK, maybe I could - but equally it could be a twig, or a stone, or a speck of dust on the lens.  My heart sank.  Was it going to be two days of convincing myself that an ambiguous shadows were in fact the Big Five?
And then, four zebra casually strolled across the path in front of us.  So close we would have noticed if they had fleas!  Beautiful, stately beasts despite nicks in their ears, rough patches of skin, a few surprising pock marks and bull's licks in their pelt.  Not picture perfect, better than picture perfect.  Wild!  Grrrrr!
Soon after, we met a family of warthogs, every bit as comical as Pumba in The Lion King, but even uglier and yet sweeter.  And not even the littlest hoglets seemed at all perturbed by the Chevy Spark inching past them.
Bam.  That's how these game drives are.  There was less gradual dawning of what was there and more 'BAM look it's a rhino'!  (A white rhino, to be precise).  Massive, just behind a scrawny tree.  The horn was longer and pointier than I expected, the beast more tank-like.  We stopped, awe-struck.  This was a legend.
Clocking us
He clocked us.  We froze; the blood drained downward to help our feet run, but we just had to hope the Chevy's frame was thick enough to take a two-and-a-half rhino horn - obviously it wouldn't.  He looked away ... but of course with eyes on the sides of his head, he was perhaps only now sizing us up. 
We drove off very, veeery slowly ...
As we continued deeper and deeper into Mfolozi, we saw a good number of bok (steenbok, springbok, kudu), water buffalo, and some incredibly colourful birds such as African hornbills (aka Zazu from the Lion King, hitherto my main source of knowledge about the African Continent) and icky vultures.
Alas, it was time to turn around.  In South Africa it gets dark early, and it gets dark quick.  I pressed for a last little look by a watering hole, a short detour here or there, in case we'd spot something else exciting, but nada.
Hope faded as we approached the park gate; we only really knew how close we were getting based on the time it had taken us to drive to the furthest point reached.  Hardly likely to see anything really big as we got closer again to civiliz.....
BAM!  Giraffe.  Close enough we could almost have leaned out of the window and touched him.  He looked old, his knees were knobbly and leathery, but he was agile enough to strain and lick foliage clean off the topmost twigs of the trees. Big eyes, graceful gait, we were transfixed.  He walked off at his leisure, craning his neck this way and that as if posing for the camera.  Jolly decent of him.
Stately - a lone giraffe
BAM!  Another?  It's ... !
Our cognition took a few seconds to catch up with the sight in front of us.  An elephant.  A big, brown, furrow-skinned elephant, just 20 metres ahead.  There had been occasional signs warning not to get any closer than 50m, but we didn't exactly choose the location!  Another car was just ahead, between us and this most spiritual of animals.  Clare told us of an article she'd read a week ago, about a car of Japanese tourists flattened by an elephant. 
He scratched his itchy head against a tree.  The tree came off worse.  He shook his head from side to side, flapped his ears, and the dust flew in all directions.
Awe.  This was one mighty beast, peaceful and serene but powerful.  Good, but not safe, as the Narnians said of Aslan.
Whether or not dusk was approaching, we just had to wait for him.  Eventually, this majestic beast stepped off the path and slowly disappeared into the trees.  I think no one spoke for a while.  Clare started the ignition and we rolled off in silence.
Not safe but good - we hope!
We came to the fork off the road, and turned tightly off the Mfolozi prong onto to the Hluhluwe path.  Another park awaited us, but as the sky became inky and rain started to spot the windscreen, we'd have to wait until tomorrow to meet the locals.
Or so we thought.  But just before the path to Camp became really steep, overlooking the craggy river valley below, we came across a family of giraffe.  Five or six, they were heading home too, in a line they silently strode along their own path, seemingly according to the age before beauty principle.
Camp was surprisingly well-appointed: a thatched cottage with microwave, tea pot, spatulas and wine cooler.  Apart from the hundreds of little bugs in our bed sheets (easily swept off, I hasten to add), we felt like royal guests of King Shaka himself.

On the bakkie before sunrise
The next morning, it was an early start for our sunrise safari with guide/spotter.  Hard as I tried, I couldn't get his name.  My ears just don't detect what comes after the clicks of Zulu. 
For the first hour, we saw little wildlife.  Overnight had been cold, and dew lay like balls of candy floss.  We had to content ourselves with the sunrise - but that in itself turned out to be worth the 5am start.
One place alone showed signs of non-avian life: a pool full of hippos.  Hippos at Dawn - is that the name of a book?  If not, it should be.  They wallowed, moving slowly, almost imperceptibly, then whoosh a spray of water from the nostrils.
For whom the word 'wallow' was made
Even on safari you have to stop mid-morning for coffee, except on this drive 'mid-morning' was about 8:15.  A guy from Durban was with our group, and he was lamenting the lack of sightings.  But he was a seasoned game spotter, and was glad at least that the animals here were truly wild.  He told us of game drives elsewhere in Southern Africa where authorities had sold off bits of national parks to private companies, who erected new fences and ensured a tiny area was full of lions, cheetahs and the other more impressive species.  Of course, limiting such big animals to small areas upset the eco-balance and it all became a bit mechanical, tracking solitary creatures by radio mic around a big safari park.
He almost made me glad for the lull in sightings.
After coffee, our luck changed.  We met a gang of baboons, bold and sassy, shameless in their behaviour, swollen red bums in the air.  I didn't warm to them immediately. 
African Sunrise
As the sun warmed the morning air, herds appeared.  This second day wasn't so much about close-up meetings, as observation at a distance of animals in their herds.  Rhino, giraffes, zebra - interacting unselfconsciously with their own kind.  In a way, the perspective was as thrilling as proximity had been the day before.  This was un-zoo-like.  This was The Wild.  GRRR!
The urgency was off.  We had seen many different species, up close and from afar; it was too late in the day now to see any big cats; so we could sit back in the bakkie and enjoy the drive.  If we saw nothing else now, we could go home happy.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Appendices: Research Instrument and Sampled Interview Responses


Interview Phase
Phase One:
Grand Tour
SQUIN (Single Question aimed at Inducing Narrative)
I’d like you to tell me about …
OR Could you walk me through …
OR Could you teach me about …
Start where you like.    We have up to thirty minutes. I’ll listen.  I won’t interrupt.


Quizzical look
Nod head


Repeat single word or phrase in a quizzical tone
e.g. gancho?
Could you give me an example?
What do you mean by … ?
After a probe: Thank you, you were saying …

Phase Two:
You said …
Can you give me an example of … ?
Can you give me any more examples?
Were you thinking of a particular event?
What exactly do you mean by … ?
Phase Three:
Follow-up (on a separate day)
You said OR You talked about OR You mentioned …
How typical is … ?
What happens if … ?
How would you refer to … ?

Other techniques (questions to be worded on the field):
Request description of icons
Request mini-tours
Request illustration or further exemplification
Deliberately misstate a segment of meaning and elicit clarification


Research Question One:  What does EML mean to teachers and learners?  How do they experience EML?

“It’s not all ‘do this, do that,’ we do projects, we talk and learn by doing.”

“Like when I taught elementary school, the kids learn mostly by doing their own thing, discovering things for themselves.  It’s the same here, I don’t tell them, I get them to find out what they want to know.”

“They learn a lot when we do plays and sing songs.  They soak stuff up like a sponge.”

“It’s up to them to learn.  My job is to be there and support them and ask questions to check they’re learning and not just memorizing.”

“Being a teacher is like being a pastor, you’re there to support and guide and help them develop and make good choices.”

“There’s an unwritten curriculum. […]  Art, conversation, respect for
people, how to argue, um, you know developing as a whole person.”

“Developing people, that’s my view of education.  People who think and share and who can uh who can relate to others.”

“I teach English, but also lots of other skills and things too, like how to be a good citizen.”

“I think, what’s the point of teaching them to talk English if they don’t have anything to say? Or if they don’t understand people?”

“You can instil confidence, not just speaking English, generally you can give them more confidence in themselves.  You can say to them wow, look, that was real good, you’ll go far.  You’re teaching me.”

“We talk a lot about culture.  When it comes up, it always does, […] I love to get them to explain to me what they think and how they do it here.”

“It helps them see, say, we aren’t all cold in England, it’s just we aren’t so demonstrative except to a few close friends.  But I love to hear what my students think.  At the end of the day, they’re going to meet foreigners and have to deal with them so it’s good for them to know these differences.”

“I use the class to ask my own questions.  I’m always thinking oh I better ask the class that.  So I check with them how to barter and what way to put what I want to say.”

“It’s great to see them glow when they tell me about their culture and why they like it.”

“I’m Canadian and proud of it, and they’re proud as can be to be Bolivian so we’re coming from different places.  Sometimes the differences are clear like when I want one person to talk at a time and they just all shout out.  But we learn how each other works.  And I feel quite Bolivian now. […]  No, they don’t live there, my students don’t feel Canadian or anything I don’t think.  But they understand a bit about us.”

“I love ending class by saying thanks for teaching me something I didn’t know.”

“I like them to notice things and tell me what they think.  At the end of the day it’s about them being shocked in class where we can talk about it and not in real life where maybe they get offended by some new missionary or something.”

“I start to see things in my own background that I don’t really like, like we can be so cold and business-like.  And and we constantly look at our clock.”

“The book we use is just all holidays, hobbies, holidays, coffee, you know.  My students want to ask more important things than where are you going on your holidays.  I apologize for being so superficial (laughs) and I tell them well that’s just us maybe, we just buy things and don’t think maybe it make us blind about what’s happening around us.”

“Consumerism is the big one.  Students notice in the textbook we’re always buying things and paying for meals and drinks and going clubbing.  And I tell them yeah you’re right, there are more important things in life.”

“No soy ni más ni menos boliviana.  Sigo igual.  Pero tengo algo más, otra dimensión digamos.”  [I’m neither more nor less Bolivian.  I’m still the same.  But I have something more, another dimension.]

“Soy más latino.  No sabía antes, pero sí somos muy diferentes a los gringos.  Eso he apredido de mi curso de inglés.” [I’m more Latin.  I didn’t know before, but yes, we’re very different to gringos.  I’ve learnt that from my English course.]

“Sí, me doy cuenta de la gran diferencia cultural que existe entre los gringos y nosotros el pueblo Aymará, que extistimos para ser y vivir, no para tener.” [Yes, I realize the big difference that there is between gringos and us, the Aymara people, that we exist to be and to live, not to have.]

“If we leave it to the Bolivian government, regular kids won’t learn because there are so few resources.  If we leave it to this big TEFL industry then only the richest two per cent of kids can afford it.  I hate the way English is supposed to be so important but most people can’t afford it because it’s usually taught in private schools.  More like companies some of them than schools.”

“It’s an export.  Thatcher always wanted to privatise everything and that’s just what happened to TEFL.  You got to buy it.  It’s like a product.”

“TEFL isn’t really education.  It can be but look at those schools where it’s all six week courses and you know there’s no thought, it’s all memorizing.  It’s not teaching, it’s training.”

“I think we need to go against this capitalism sort of English thing.  At the moment you got to have money to learn.  We’re teaching anybody that wants to.  And it’s not just English like wham bam there you go, we think things through and we talk about stuff.”

“I used to work in a private school but I quit.  It’s not real education, it’s all for exams.  I remember when education was about teaching.  Remember they said a teacher was psychologist, social worker, teacher, what else, you know everything, but now it’s just impersonal and not very human.  In TEFL anyway I think.”

“TEFL today is supply and demand.  It’s about jobs, not developing yourself.  It’s a pity.  I’m glad I don’t have no company to answer to.”

“Yeah, there’s a moral element to our church classes.  Isn’t that just real education?  Education isn’t just a list of facts to learn.  Where’s the care and nurture in that?”

EML as an Herramienta

“English is a modern language with, there’s a lot of info out there that could help Bolivians modernize too.  Especially doing business with other countries, I think they need that.”

“New medical research, and I’m a nurse by trade you know, so the medical and nursing fields need developed here.  There’s so much sickness.”

“We have some partners who run income-generation projects.  Like growing things instead of coca, the Americans want to eradicate coca.  So they could maybe read what grows well and how to grow more crops than just coca.”

“There are so many resources like sermons, commentaries, books, devotionals.  And they could really help train new Bolivian leaders but they don’t often translate them.”

“We don’t want them to start speaking English, we should learn Spanish.  But sometimes if they’re at a summit, not a summit, like an international assembly, then it would be useful for them to speak English.”

“It’s about teaching them English.  They have Bolivian teachers for other things.  My job is to get them reading English.”

“No I suppose it isn’t very, what would you call it?  We don’t talk a lot about feelings and things.  But we’re there to teach English and I have to get that done first if I’m going to do my job well.  That doesn’t mean you don’t care about the students, I just mean we have to use the time we have as best we can.”

“A lot of missionaries like to teach by talking and discussing and they kind of just feel their way along but I learned on a CELTA course how to plan a lesson and teach it and at the end I know if it was successful because I can say yes I taught that and I saw them use it in the last activity and I know they know it.”

“I teach grammar, vocabulary, everything.  All the component bits of English that they need to put together to speak like an English speaker.”
“Some missionaries think teaching is about passing the time of day.  I always start with an objective or an aim.  I want to be able to say after the lesson that they did something they couldn’t do before.”

“We focus on reading a lot of the time because it’s authentic material and they can pick up lots of useful language points.  The focus is really making sure they can read and understand.  You can do all the touchy feely stuff you like, but the aim of the game is, it’s, well it’s understanding what they hear and learning how to say it themselves.”

“I keep it to the teaching points because if my class turns into a sermon then there’s something called the social affective filter and if that turns on because somebody feels like I’m forcing them to hear a God-spot every lesson they aren’t going to learn much.”

“Every lesson is about a tense or some new words about a topic and at the end I want them to know it so we can move on in the next class.”

“I’ve a list of, I’ve got a syllabus of sorts, and I have to cover it.  They need to get the basics.”

“They’re starting at, well not zero, but most are false beginners.  You really need to start from the very beginning and teach every little bit.  There’s lots of repetition and drilling.”
“At the end of the day, I’m aware that it’s a language class, not a religion class.  As much as I might want to shout out hallelujah, I don’t want to make students uncomfortable.  But I still see myself as a Christian teacher.  I plan, I come prepared, I’m fair and hard-working.  And I’m doing this for free, because I see the value in it.  But if I spend time witnessing or preaching, I’m not able to cover what the students need to learn.”

“Of course, I’m like anybody else, I hope to have a positive impact on my classes, but all I can judge is whether or not they know what I taught them in a lesson.”

“I think the teacher has to be there to guide.  Sometimes when they know you’re a missionary they think it’s all going to be discussions and, and you know, fun, I know it should be fun, but there’s a purpose to it.  So I find I have to keep quite tight control.  It’s nice to hear their stories and everything but it’s easy to digress and just spend the hour chatting.  And you leave and you don’t know if anybody learned anything.”

“I use the teacher’s book and I plan lessons the way I learned to on my course.  It’s just standard procedure, you know, I follow the general pattern.  It’s what works best.”

“I learned to teach English in the States and I guess it’s the way to do it round the world.  I learned together with guys who wanted to go to Europe and Asia and teach.”

“The books we use, I think they’re used all over the world.  It’s a good way to show them real English like we speak it in Australia.  It’s good because they see a bit what life’s like where English is actually spoken.”

“The level of English here in Bolivia is real low.  They don’t really teach it well in schools, I think it’s compulsory but I mean you wouldn’t think it by how little they speak.  And that means there’s a lot of work to do if they’re going to learn to speak it, not just learn grammar and all that but really speak it.  If they’re going to read theology or whatever in English that’s a long way to go.”

“Yeah there’s a lot of … , we know this is the best way to teach because Cambridge and Oxford they teach people to do it that way.”

“I think they’ve done loads of research, we can be pretty sure the methods in the teacher’s book work.  People spend a long time learning and studying these things before they can write a textbook.”

“Cuando hablo inglés en la clase, es un poco como ser actriz.” [When I speak English in class it’s a little like being an actress.]

                        “Hacemos cosas como el roleplay, hablamos como personas de allá.”
                        [We do things like role plays, we talk like people from there.]

“Es como ser un gringo rico.  Hablamos de cosas que no tenemos acá y es como estar en otro mundo.  Sí,  es como soy mas gringo yo.”  [It’s like being a rich gringo.  We talk about things we don’t have here and it’s like being in another world.  Yes, it’s like I’m more gringo.]

“Sí, un poco.  He cambiado.  Me he enchufado al mundo de información y de recursos que existe, que no conocemos en Bolivia.”  [Yes, a little.  I’ve changed.  I’ve plugged into the world of information and resources that exists, which we don’t know in Bolivia.]

“No he cambiado, pero sí a veces después de mirar tantas cosas estadounidenses sí es como estar entre dos mundos.”  [I haven’t changed, but yes, sometimes after seeing so many things from the U.S. yes, it’s like being between two worlds.]

“El teacher es de Estados Unidos.  Me interesa saber más de su vida, su forma de vida allá.  Es bueno porque si no hay profes de allá, sólo vemos los norteamericanos en la tele y no sé si todos son así.”  [The teacher is from the United States.  I’m interested in knowing more about his life, his lifestyle there.  It’s good because if there are no teachers from there, we only see North Americans on TV I don’t know if they’re all like that.]

“They want to know what a real Am… , North American is like.  They want to know about everything so I suppose we’re like a role model or something.  As a Christian I think it’s good to be a role model but they sort of see you as Christian and American.  But there are so many Americans around, Bolivians I suppose they should know what we’re like and how to deal with us.”

“They know about Bolivian culture but they don’t know about American culture.  Sometimes they don’t really get it when we read something and I have to talk them through.  Sometimes they ask me why people don’t go to college nearer home, why they go out so much and things like that so I explain what way things work in the States.”

“I’m Australian and I suppose I always will be.  And they always think I’m American or British.  I don’t know, I’m used to it now.  They’re really good (laughs), they put up with my funny ways, my punctuality and being like being a bit, not cold, but dry maybe.  They get used to me too.  I just tell them sorry that’s what we’re like.  And if they’re going to learn English and speak it to people they better get used to it (laughs).”

EML as a Gancho

“English is a real gancho, you know what I mean? (makes hook shape with finger)It like helps me to get to know people, there’s no need to go out advertising or anything because they hear you’re English and they ask you to teach them.”

“It opens doors to preach the gospel.”

“It’s the fastest way to meet other young people and get to know them.”

“Teaching English is one thing but it’s just for this life.  The real reason is to tell them how they can be saved.”

“Nos dijo que era evangélico y que quería conocernos y enseñarnos a hablar inglés.  Yo quería, me dijo su amigo de él, que es boliviano que en la clase podríamos hablar de la biblia.”  [He told us he was an Evangelical and he wanted to get to know us and teach us to speak English.  I wanted to, his friend told me, who’s Bolivian, that in the class we could talk about the Bible.]

“All the guys who come know the score, you know, we don’t trick people.  Imagine if we trick them and lock the doors and give a gospel presentation, that’s not the way to do it.  You don’t trick people or force people.”

“I suppose they all have different reasons why they’re learning.  But for me the important thing is their souls. […]  English is just a language.  I don’t even know if we’ll speak it in heaven.  So if it open doors for me to talk about God to these young people then that’s great.”

“We have some great discussions.  We talk about loads of stuff like what we want in life, what’s a priority for us and well we always end up talking about the Lord.  […]  I do swing discussions that way I suppose, but it’s who I am.  It’s the real reason I’m here.  […]  Yeah ultimately it’s why I agreed to teach English.”

“I’m an evangelist but that doesn’t mean I have to stand on a street corner and bash a Bible and shout at passers-by.  These days we talk about relational evangelism, so my job is to get alongside people.  […]  I’m no language expert, believe me, but the guys at church asked me to teach them so we thought hey what a great opportunity to get non-Christians in too and help them and maybe share with them about the Lord.”

“I don’t think anybody’s ever been shocked to hear me pray in class or say write up a favourite Bible verse on the board.  In practice you know most of the guys in my class are Christians anyway, and they bring along their friends from university or whatever.  And we treat them all the same.  But yeah they know we’re Christians and they respect us and we respect them.”

“No, I’ve never felt worried or uncomfortable or anything if that’s what you mean.  I think English is useful for them and I know they need to be saved so no, I don’t really have any major issues with it.”
“What are you calling me a meanie, are you like saying that I trick people?  (laughs) No, it’s not like that at all.  […]  Obviously people will freak out if they think you tricked them.  No, if we say we’re going to teach them English we got to follow through.  It wouldn’t be a very good witness to go round telling lies.  But we tell people when they ask why we can do the class for free we say we’re Christians and we want to get to know them and learn their language too and their culture.  And we say we’re Christians and I think they expect we’ll say something about God to them.  But we never force them to talk about God.”
“When I arrived they said, “Why don’t you teach English?  It’s a great way to get to know people and build relationships.”  But I thought it would be easier, that’s why I said yes.  I always knew this was just til something else came up but it’s been hard work.  Cos I don’t know how to answer their questions or how to talk simple enough.”

“Yeah I’m pretty fed up.  Not of talking to the ones who come, just me teaching English.  I’m looking forward to real missionary work.”

“I wasn’t expecting to do this, so sometimes I panic a bit and think what am I going to do today?  Yeah, if I’d of known before I came I’d of done a course and got ready.  My background’s not in this at all, it’s really just something to help people out while I find my feet and get ready for my ministry.”

“No, I don’t see this as a ministry.  I see it as helpful and it’s good for me too because I can get to know Bolivians and learn what’s important for them and stuff like that.  But no I don’t see it like it’s a ministry.”

“Hay objetivos diferentes.  Puede ser un instrumento para llamar a la gente, para agarrar a gente.  Es un tipo de gancho.”  [There are different aims.  It can be an instrument to attract people, to grab people.  It’s a type of hook.]

“Poco a poco, sí, puedes hablar de doctrina evangélica en el aula.  Tomas opotunidades, ¿no? Pero no obligas.”  [Little by little, yes, you can talk about evangelical doctrine in the classroom.  You take opportunities, don’t you?  But you don’t force it.]

“I’d hope they had the same vision I have but I very much doubt it.  A lot of them, they arrive and value other things but teaching English is something they do because they’re asked to, but they go along and do it.  And I think to justify it to supporters back home they try to force into their teaching a Christian message.  But those teachers, well would you even call them teachers? They don’t last long.  Because you can’t teach well and be always forcing the language to describe the gospel.  I don’t think you can easily spell out the gospel in an English class and still be teaching.  Once you do that you’ve stopped teaching English and you’re preaching in the language classroom.  That’s it I suppose.  Preaching in the classroom is not teaching English, but some people want it to be.  And when they can’t keep it up and they realize they aren’t really teaching English any more, they soon give it up.”

“I had no background in TEFL or anything like that.  But the opportunity arose and since I was just settling in I thought hey it’s better than nothing.  It was important at that time but I always thought of it as an entretiempo till something else came up.”

“Hmm. (Shrugs) It can be.  It helps you get to know people when you first arrive.  But Bolivia is an open country anyway.  I think it might be different in Muslim countries.  There it’s a ministry.  It gives opportunities to preach the gospel.  In fact in my classes I was criticized by some of the local brothers for not preaching in class.  But I suppose teaching and preaching are two different things.  If they expect to learn English and they just hear Christianity they feel engañado [cheated].”

“I taught in Ayacucho Baptist Church.  Most of them were Christians, say two thirds.  They brought their non-Christian friends with them.  Non-Christians won’t go if they think you just want to convert them.”

“I have no reservations about talking about God in class.  We’re the ones in the West with the hang-up, Bolivians’ lives seem less compartmentalized than ours.  They don’t relegate spirituality to a Sunday morning or to a private area of their life, they talk about everything, man, they ask why you aren’t married, they ask how much money you got, and they seem happy to me to talk about God, so long as you don’t force anything on them they don’t want to hear.  I don’t do altar calls or lead them to repeat prayers of salvation after me, you know (laughs) but sure, I ask who they turn to in times of trouble and what they think happens after they die and sure after I listen to them, I might say what I think too.”

“No, sabes el hermano que es teacher en la clase de nosotros no es educador, digamos, eso ya lo sabemos, es otra cosa, es que habla inglés y podemos practicar lo que sabemos con él, y también él nos enseña muchas cosas sobre que hacen ustedes allá en Estados Unidos.  Y se aprende de él muchas palabras que no sabíamos.  He pasado clases en la U pero te cuento no nos enseñan a hablar, sólo leemos y estudiamos la gramática.  Pero el hermano nos permite hablar.  Es divertido.”  [No, you know, the brother who is teacher in our class isn’t a qualified teacher, let’s say, we know that, he’s something else, it’s that he speaks English and we can practise what we know with him, and also he teaches us a lot of things about what you guys do in the United States.  And you learn a lot of words from him that we didn’t know.  I’ve taken classes at uni but you know they don’t teach us to talk, we just read and we study grammar.  But the brother lets us talk.  It’s fun.]

“Es divertido porque hablamos de hartas cosas.  Hablamos del Evo, de la coca, de la cultura, del cine, si de hartas cosas diferentes. [...]  Si no estoy de acuerdo con el hermano, o mejor si el dice algo que ha malentendido sobre mi país, claro lo corrijo.  Es así en la clase, se puede hablar con él.  Y somos así en Latinoamérica, nos encanta hablar de todas formas, de todo.  Somos bien alegres y a veces el hermano tiene que decirnos que no hablemos todos a la vez.”  [It’s fun because we talk about loads of stuff.  We talk about Evo, about coca, about culture, about films, yeah about loads of different things. […] If I disagree with the brother, or I mean if he says something that he’s misunderstood about my country, I correct him.  That’s what it’s like in class, you can talk to him.  And we’re like that in Latin America, we love to talk about everything.  We’re really happy people and sometimes the brother has to tell us not to talk all at once.]

“Por ejemplo Carnavales.  El hermano dijo una vez que era más o menos como Navidad en su país de ustedes, pero se le dije yo que no es así, que no somos así en Bolivia porque eso tiene que ver con los dioses de los Incas, con Pachamama y todo, y no nos metemos en esas cosas los evangélicos.”  [For example Carnaval.  One time the brother said it was more or less like Christmas in your country, but I told him it’s not like that, that we’re not like that in Bolivia because that has to do with the gods of the Incas, Pachamama and all, and we evangelicals don’t get into those things.]

“Es divertido, podemos discutir temas interesantes.  Pues soy latina, me encanta hablar, somos muy sociables.  Nos gusta hablar de Bolivia y de las cosas que son importantes para nosotros.  Es divertido hablar de esas cosas con el teacher que es de Inglaterra.”  [It’s fun, we can discuss interesting topics.  You see, I’m Latina, I love to talk, we’re very sociable.  We like to talk about Bolivia and the things that are important to us.  It’s fun talking about these things with the teacher who’s from England.”

“Me gusta hablar de la vida y como es allá en su país.  Y explicarle a él como es acá en Bolivia.”  [I like to talk about life and what it’s like there in his country.  And explain to him what it’s like here in Bolivia.]

“A veces se nota sí, como cuando nos dice que podemos hacer tal cosa, o nos invita despues del clase a tomar un cafecito con el, no se da cuenta de que no tenemos permiso de nuestros papas.  En Bolivia, es que la familia tiene mucha importancia, no es como en Estados Unidos. No debemos salir a tomar café sin que lo sepan los papas.  Y ademas, hay que decirle que no siempre hay platita para tomar café.  Y se lo digo y pide disculpa, dice que no lo sabia.”  [Sometimes you notice it, yes, like when he tells us we can do something, or he invites us after class to have a coffee with him, he doesn’t realize that we don’t have permission from our parents.  In Bolivia, the family is much more important, it’s not like in the United States.  We mustn’t go out for coffee without our parents knowing.  And anyway, you have to tell him that we don’t always have money for coffee.  And I tell him and he apologizes and says he didn’t know.]

“Me gusta aprender por hablar de Dios, pues eso me interesa, es mejor que en otras clases.”  [I like to learn by talking about God, because it interests me, it’s better than in other classes.]

“Aprendo mas cosas en las clases cristianas.  Porque me interesa, es algo que quiero discutir de veras.” [I learn more things the Christian classes.  Because it interests me, it’s something that I really want to talk about.]

“No soy evangélica como ellos, somos tres creo que no lo somos.  Pero hablamos con los demás, hablamos de sus ideas y lo que hacen.  Y ellos nos escuchan, no todos pero el teacher sí.”  [I’m not an evangelical like them, I think there are three of us who aren’t.  But we speak with the others, we speak about their ideas and what they do.  And they listen to us, not everybody but the teacher does.]

“No me quejo.  Sí hablan siempre de Dios pero yo también creo en Dios, soy católica.  Y es mejor que nada.  Estoy feliz porque hay esta clase y no pago nada.”  [I don’t complain.  Yes, they always talk about God but I believe in God too, I’m Catholic.  And it’s better than nothing.  I’m happy because there’s this class and I don’t pay anything.”

“Hablan siempre de la vida en las grandes ciudades, de gente muy culta.  Soy Aymara, pienso en otras cosas tal vez, y no me gusta hablar en la clase porque es otra forma de hablar, hasta en castellano.”  [They always talk about life in big cities, about very cultured people.  I’m Aymara, maybe I think about other things, and I don’t like to talk in class because it’s another way of talking, even in Spanish.]

“Los metizos paceños hablan bien, saben de esas cosas como la música y la comida gringa.  Yo no.”  [The mestizos (mixed indigenous-European race) from La Paz speak well, they know about those things like gringo music and food.  I don’t.]

“A veces me siento, ay no sé, no es que me siento mal exactamente, pero digamos [...]  bueno, si habla de la plata, de la economía, no me gusta a veces, pues yo soy del campo donde casi no tenemos nada y me parece que ella no sabe como es el asunto allá. […]  No, no le digo nada.  Los Aymara como yo, somos tímidos, no somos como los peruanos.”  [Sometimes I feel, oh I don’t know, I don’t feel bad exactly, but let’s say [...] well, if she talks about money, about the economy, sometimes I don’t like it, because I’m from the country where we have almost nothing and it seems to me that she doesn’t realize what it’s like there.  […]  No, I don’t say anything to her.  Aymara people like me, we’re shy, we aren’t like the Peruvians.”

“Yeah, it’s a bit weird writing people in the bulletin about teaching English when they sent you out and they gave you money to preach and teach and all.  But they understand we have to be creative the way we share the gospel.”

“When I know it’s time to write home, yeah maybe it’s more on my mind what I came here to do, so I suppose I might say a bit more God stuff directly in the class.”

“To be honest yeah, sometimes I think about why I came and I probably try to up the Christian level of the class.”

“There’s pressure here to teach English, and there’s pressure at home to justify your support and be doing real missionary work.”

Research Question Two:  What dialectics are experienced in the classroom?

A Cultural Dialectic

AC. 18
“Viven solos desde muy jovenes.  No les importa la familia.  No sé si
es bueno.  Son ricos pero a nivel personal son muy pobres también.  Si es el futuro, no sé si me gusta.”  [They live alone from they’re very young.  Family isn’t important to them.  I don’t know if it’s good.  They’re rich but on a personal level they’re very poor too.  If it’s the future, I don’t know if I like it.]

“Sólo hablan de amigos.  No pertenecen a buenas familias como las nuestras.”  [They only talk about friends.  They don’t belong to good families like ours.]

“Hay mucha independencia.  No podría ser como los personajes de Headway.”  [There’s a lot of independence.  I couldn’t be like the characters in Headway.]

“Usan muchos horarios.  Me parece que no disfrutan del presente, siempre hay metas.”  [They use a lot of timetables.  It doesn’t seem to me that they enjoy the present, there are always targets.]

“Es otra forma de vivir.  Son ricos pero no disfrutan de ellas.  No disfrutan de su familia porque trabajan y salen.”  [It’s another way of life.  They’re rich but they don’t enjoy them.  They don’t enjoy their family because they work and they go out.]

“Hablan de una forma muy eficaz.  Aca en Bolivia hablamos de otra forma.  No puedes decir que tenemos cinco minutos para cumplir la actividad.  Si se puede, seguimos hablando, y no solo cumplimos lo necesario.”  [They talk in a very efficient way.  Here in Bolivia we talk in another way.  You can’t say we have five minutes to complete the activity.  If we can, we keep talking, and we don’t just complete what is necessary.]

“Siempre compran.  Compran y compran.  Tienen muchos lujos.”  [They’re always buying.  They buy and buy.  They have a lot of luxuries.]

“Su comida no es buena ni su vida familiar.  Por ejemplo me parece que cuidan mas cuando lavan su auto que cuando lavan los platos.”  [Their food isn’t good, nor their family life.  For example it seems to me that they pay more attention to washing their car than washing the dishes.]

“Hay muchas cosas bonitas en los libros que usamos.  No hay esas cosas aca.  No tengo celos pero no me gusta aprender sobre tantas cosas que se puede comprar tampoco.  Prefiero hablar de las relaciones humanas.  Quiero mas bien compartir.”  [There are a lot of nice things in the books we use.  There aren’t those things here.  I’m not jealous but I don’t like learning about so many things you can but either.  I prefer to talk about human relations.  I’d rather share.]

“Se tratan bien, sus cuerpos, comen mala comida y todo.  Estan siempre de vacaciones y salen muy a menudo.  Tienen mucha plata.”  [They treat themselves well, their bodies, they eat bad food and all.  They’re always on holidays and going out.  They’ve a lot of money.]

“No tienen problemas como nosotros aca.  Tienen bastante dinero.”  [They don’t have problems like us here.  They have enough money.]

“No me gusta ver esa forma de vivir.  Solo piensan en cosas muy tontas que no son buenas.  Se compran todos los caprichos.”  [I don’t like to see that lifestyle.  They just think about silly things that aren’t good.  They buy everything they fancy.]

“The books we use aren’t really ideal like for Bolivia.  It’s like we show them a lifestyle that they can only dream about and they react when they see it.  They think we’re spoilt.  I feel like I’m more on their side.”

“We talk about culture and what they don’t like and why.  And American culture seems to be spreading and lots of Bolivians want to buy into it.  So it’s relevant.  But it’s not always comfortable.  For me as the teacher especially.”

“They like looking at our culture, and they don’t like it.  It arouses some pretty strong feeling.  Some of them despair if this is the future, if they get more Americanized.”

“We talk through these things.  It’s not just learning English but learning about people who speak it.  And they don’t have to like Americans but they have to say why, what exactly it is they don’t like.”

“They use the class often I think to tell me why they prefer to be Bolivian and not American.”

            “Of course we do culture sometimes, like at Halloween and
Thanksgiving, so they know about our traditions.  And food, that’s
cultural isn’t it?  Sometimes it’s hard to explain our food and they like

“El profe no habla de las diferencias culturales.  Me siento medio mal a veces porque no me gusta la cultura norteamericana.  No sé.  Hay algo que no me gusta porque atrae a todos pero no es saludable.”  [The teacher doesn’t talk about cultural differences.  I sometimes feel a bit bad because I don’t like the North American culture.  I don’t know.  There’s something I don’t like because it attracts everybody but it’s not healthy.]

A Political Dialectic

“People assume you voted Bush.  Believe me I didn’t.”

“Living here you get different perspectives.  I’d say I’m a Republican but that doesn’t mean I supported the war.  But to a Bolivian you’re a Bush supporter.”

“I don’t think I’m really a capitalist in my heart of hearts, even though that’s what people think of gringos here.  I say I’m a Christian and that comes from the Middle East and it’s not capitalist.  It’s hard when you get stereotyped.”

“If we like it or not the U.S. calls the shots in the Americas and speaking English can only be a good thing.”

“Hay que hablar inglés.  Si no, no se puede ingresar a la modernidad.  Y Bolivia tiene que modernizarse mucho.”  [You have to speak English.  If not, you can’t become modern.  And Bolivia has to modernize a lot.]

“A veces me siento un poquito traidor, como, ay no se.  No quiero dejar mi país.  Soy orgulloso de Bolivia.  No quiero cambiar mi país y no quiero ser mas gringo.  Hay gente gringa en la Zona Sur, bolivianos pero adinerados con muchos amigos gringos.  Gringolandia se llama.  No quiero ser así.”  [Sometimes I feel a little like a traitor, because, oh I don’t know.  I don’t want to leave my country.  I’m proud of Bolivia.  I don’t want to change my country and I don’t want to be more gringo.  There are gringo people in the Zona Sur (exclusive area of La Paz), Bolivians but wealthy with a lot of gringo friends.  Gringoland they call it.  I don’t want to be like that.]

“Los que hablan inglés, me parece que tienen más plata, digo dinero.  Quiero ganar dinero por trabajar duro y no por ser medio gringo.”  [People who speak English, it seems to me they have more dough, I mean money.  I want to earn money by working hard and not by being half gringo.]

            “I teach English because it’s what they ask me to teach but I’m not
sure how useful it is.  Sure it might be, but I don’t think it’s the magic answer they expect it is.”

“They don’t say so but I think some students are hoping to go live in the States.  We talk about it, about living in the U.S. and they tell me what life must be like there, and I wonder if maybe we give them the wrong idea.  It ain’t like they think for foreigners going to live there.”

“I hope they get the chance to think about these things.  If they learn English good they might get jobs in multi-national companies or as tour guides.  I hope, I really hope they think about these things.  They might not be as good as they seem.  We talk in class about them.”

An Evangelical Dialectic

“I don’t use the Bible a lot but most classes we might do a memory verse.  We use some Christian pamphlets too.”

“I don’t say so much in class, but I invite them to come along to church with me or talk to me after class if they want to talk about anything.”

“We talk about marriage, money, let’s see […] everything, say what happens after you die, family, poverty, corruption.  And sure I’ll tell them my opinion as a Christian.”

 “I’m not there to preach, I’m there to teach.  But being a missionary isn’t all saving souls, you have to invest in people a bit longer term than that.  And you have to see the whole person, not just a soul to be saved, the whole person, body, spirit, mind, soul.”

“Teachers have a pastoral role too, I think.  It’s something we hopefully can offer that’s really important and maybe they don’t get that pastoral side other places.”

“I’m here to help people and some say learning English helps so here I am.  I’m not here to preach but if people ask why I came I tell them the spiritual reasons.”

“Sure, at times I think maybe the spiritual need is greater than the need to learn English.  But I committed to teaching English.  That’s what I plan for and if anything else happens then that’s great.”
“Escogí esta clase porque me gusta discutir las cosas y es interesante.  El hermano nos dice muchas cosas sobre la fe y me gusta, es más personal.  Si no estoy de acuerdo, porque a veces los misioneros de allá son menos conservadores que nosotros, se lo digo.  No me da temor decirselo.”  [I chose this class because I like to discuss things and it’s interesting.  The brother tells us a lot of things about the faith and I like it, it’s more personal.  If I don’t agree, because sometimes the missionaries from there aren’t so conservative as us, I tell them.  I’m not scared to tell them.]

“Sabemos todos que el teacher es un hermano y hay confianza.  Se puede decirle todo lo que sentimos.”  [We all know the teacher is a brother and there’s confianza (trust, good feeling).  You can tell them everything we feel.]
“Pues soy Aymara.  Soy mas tímida creo.  No puedo discutir con el profe.  Quiero pero no puedo, no en la clase no.”  [See, I’m Aymara.  I’m shier, I think.  I can’t discuss with the teacher.  I want to but I can’t, not in the class, no.]

“Si dice algo sobre Dios, si no estoy de acuerdo, no se.  El es el profe.  Me callo.  Hablo mas luego con mis compañeros.”  [If he says something about God, if I don’t agree, I don’t know.  He’s the teacher.  I’m silent.  I speak later with my classmates.]

Research Question Three: What Critical Concerns are there of TEML?

A One-Way Flow of Knowledge

                        “It’s just English.”

                        “I teach them the way I’d say it.”

                        “They get enough practice so they can say it the natural English way.”

“The point of reading is they can find out what it means quickly, they             don’t have to understand every word to know what the information means.”

 “They can find out what the most up-to-date ways are to do, methods and things in medicine and so on.”

“There’s so much information out there that would help them if only they knew it, but it’s in English.”

A False Promise

                        “I don’t know. (pause)  I imagine they must do.”

“Maybe we’re still teaching, it might be some time before they’re ready.”

“I really don’t know.  No.  (pause)  No, sorry.  I can’t think of one person I know who learned English and found it useful except to move to the States.  That’s pretty shocking, isn’t it?  Maybe we should pack up our bags and go (laughs).”

Normative ‘Critical’ Pedagogy

 “Conozco al teacher.  Creo que sí, sé que opina él y qué le gusta escuchar.”  [I know the teacher.  I think so, I know what he thinks and what he likes to hear.]

“Es muy buena gente.  Nos quiere decir que nuestra cultura es mejor que la cultura norteamericana.  No sé si es cierto, nos falta mucho en Bolivia pero es, es bueno que nos diga eso.”  [She’s really nice.  She wants to tell us that our culture is better than the North American culture.  I don’t know if that’s right, there’s a lot we don’t have in Bolivia but it’s, it’s nice of her to say that.]
                        “I don’t want to make little Americans so I teach this way.”

“I just don’t like the way English is taught a lot of the time so I do it my own way.  I teach it more like I’d teach elementary school […]”