Brazil is the country that most studies English in the world, both in terms of percentage and number of students, according to the Annual Report on Language Learning. According to the report, 61% of Brazilians, when choosing a foreign language to study, opt for the English course, but have difficulties in learning. The language is not only the favorite in Brazil, it is also the most popular in 121 other countries, which corresponds to 62% of all nationalities.
According to Duolingo Language Report, among the main reasons that lead people to study English are: work, studies and travel.
“Learning English in Brazil has become synonymous with something time-consuming and tiring, classes with an almost exclusive focus on grammar, repetitive exercises and rigid structures”, declares Sumaia Oliveira Radwan Igarashi, graduated in English Literature, with a master's degree in Fine Arts in Acting to End in New York Film Academy (NYFA), writer, producer and teacher with global experience in Brazil, the United States (LA) and the United Kingdom.
Sumaia explains that many people who know grammar rules get the theoretical exercises right, but do not have good conversational practice. She reminds you that grammar is important, but it's not the only thing that matters, and that learning English should be a simple and fun experience. And he adds that professionals who teach English can practice speaking (conversation) on a subject that the student likes, such as football, fashion or cinema.
Listening training (hearing), according to the specialist, can be done through songs, podcasts, series and movies, to facilitate learning. And it is not necessary to read boring and generic texts to train reading, it can be a book and a magazine that better the student's profile, or an online quiz as a more pleasant and efficient solution.
A survey carried out by worldpackers, shows that six out of ten Brazilians make scheduled trips abroad. Of this total, 20% of trips are planned with the intention of learning to speak the language, as they are unable to do so in Brazil.
In children's classes, the teacher observes that it is possible to have more freedom to use fun ways of teaching. “I dress up as characters, we play with clay, we paint, we write books, we play bingo, we do science experiments and much more! And, without realizing it, children learn grammar, sentence structure, vocabulary, in short – they learn English”, reports Igarashi, who has courses on Introduction to Family Engagement in Education, Inclusive Education: Essential Knowledge for Success, Bullying in Schools: how teachers should respond, among others.
As a survey by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), based on an online questionnaire with nearly 670,000 people, concluded that to reach the level of knowledge of grammar of a native English speaker, it is best to start learning until the age of ten. years old. After that age, the ability to learn decreases.
According to the study on the Demands for Learning English in Brazil, prepared by the Data Popular Research Institute for the British Council, in Brazil, 5.1% of the population aged 16 and over claims to have some knowledge of the English language. There are, however, differences between generations. Among the youngest, aged between 18 and 24, the percentage of those who claim to speak English doubles, reaching 10.3% of people in this age group.
The teacher, a master of fine arts, also mentions that two hours a week is not enough to learn a new language. “Students who learn English, or another language, are naturally encouraged to spend more time studying and improving themselves”, concludes Sumaia Igarashi, with experience in comprehensive classes, using visual and sound media to facilitate learning, identification of students with special needs, creation of individualized plans, researches and creation of new methods of teaching languages with individualized instruction to each student and promotion of interactive learning.
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