“English Opens Doors” – I love that title
“English opens doors” (or, in Spanish, “inglés abre puertas”) is a program in Chile that promotes learning English. I love their name because they really “get it”. Education is the key to a bigger, wider life. Normally, I write about teaching math . I do love math but if you are good at math or technology AND can also communicate well, doors will fly open for you.
Being a good writer, reader or speaker is a skill, and just like any skill the more of it you do, the better you get. It also helps to have direct instruction and good examples. We made our games like Aztech: The Story Begins for middle school students who were learning English as a second language , but there are also plenty of students who could use some help speaking better English and it’s the only language they speak!
Did you ever think about how a limited vocabulary can limit you?
Living in Chile has been a challenge in part because it is hard to say exactly what I mean. I literally don’t have the words for it. In Spanish, I can’t make a distinction between ‘annoyed’ and ‘infuriated’. The only word I have is ‘angry’ (enojada). So, if I’m annoyed, I just put up with it because I am not actually ‘angry’ and I don’t know how to express myself. If I’m furious, I have to say that I am very angry, which kind of gets the point across. If I’m irritated, I’m a little angry.
I never really understood before how frustrating it can be to not be able to say what’s on your mind, to just not have the words for it.
Do you know how much people judge you based on how you talk?
Maybe YOU don’t because you are a perfect person without prejudice but let me be the first to inform you that a lot of the world is not like that. It’s no fun to be treated like I’m less intelligent because I don’t understand what’s said all of the time. So, of course, we made another app for that. Making Camp Premium teaches synonyms, antonyms, grammar and more, along with, of course, math and history.
I know how hard it is to find time in the day to work on bettering yourself, whether we’re talking about math, English or Spanish. I have not studied Spanish nearly as much as I intended. I had promised myself I was going to study an hour a day and go back to Chile more fluent in Spanish than when I left. Okay, I admit it. That didn’t happen. However, I did spend some time each day testing our games in Spanish, and that has helped.
My point is this – you know that better English offers a better future for your kids (and you). Let’s all start working just a little bit harder to open those doors.