AACI - Workshop Clare

Clare Henderson – My week training in Buenos Aires

I came to Buenos Aires with absolutely minimal Spanish but a whole load of enthusiasm for language learning and teaching. Having been in ELT since 1987, and having worked at Bell Cambridge since 1994, I had encountered quite a few Argentinian students and teachers over the years but never been there. I was delighted that the participants for the week-long Contemporary English course were so keen, inquisitive, supportive and ready to learn. We formed a strong bond over the week as we worked with new phrasal verbs, blends, clippings, eggcorns, non-standard grammar and phonology. What impressed me above all was how proficient in English these teachers were: they had wonderful fluency and accuracy and a wealth of knowledge of methodology, not to mention lots of different classroom experience to draw on. They were able to share practical ideas as to how they could adapt and use my material to be relevant for their own learners. It is clear that the level of initial teacher training in Argentina is enviably high.
As a first-time tourist, the wide avenues and grand building of Buenos Aires reminded me of Paris and I enjoyed looking upwards, to seek out Art Nouveau or Art Deco details. Ana Giner was a wonderful guide to the city and I would have been lost without her. She went out of her way to ensure my comfort and safety and that I was looked after. Thank you, Ana! There were great culinary experiences at some of BA’s renowned eateries (pizza, steak, ice cream, tea and cake); I tried alfajores, dulce de leche and ……. yerba mate (it’s not for me!).
Despite two final days of unbearably hot weather, I came away feeling refreshed and appreciated as a trainer. Many thanks to my contact Romina Arena (who started the ball rolling in 2018), Ana Giner, Sonia Ruseler, Maria Esther Paredes and Gabriela Lopez Lopez at AACI, the audiovisual technicians at AACI, my course participants, the teachers who came to my Saturday workshops and to everybody whose friendliness made my stay so comfortable. Quizas nos veremos de nuevo pronto!

Clare Henderson
MA; MA App Ling; RSA Dip TEFLA
Teacher and trainer, Bell Cambridge, UK


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