One must wonder at times what some of the greatest challenges an ESL teacher like me would face. Is it having to come up with lesson plans?
Finding teaching and resource material?
The biggest challenge I face as an english teacher to date is the strong psychological barrier in the mindset of many latinos when it comes to learning english. All their lives these people have heard comments like "English is difficult to learn and the pronounciation is impossible!" In addition to that, in Buenos Aires there many bad english teachers and high priced courses that do very little to help a latino grasp the language of english. Thus reinforcing in people's minds the idea english is a horrifically hard language to learn and only few can truly achieve it.
As an expat living in a 3rd world nation, I have come to understand the value to keeping healthy. Eating right takes on even more importance when you live in a nation where the word "organic" barely exists and red meat is around every corner. I take special steps to ensure that my food choices are the best they could possibly be with limited budget and scarce resources available. Going to parillas and eating meat is a special treat for me and when I had my rented apartment, I always made sure there were things like water, eggs, tea, fruit, yogurt. I took care to exercise portion control and never "stuffed myself". It all looks and sounded good.....on paper. All of us know that 1 + 1 almost never equals 2 because there are always variables in the equation. And what I didn't take into consideration was that I have high metabolism and low blood sugar. In addition to that, living in Argentina where 5 things can happen in an hr is an added stress because I constantly have to think fast and be ready to act any given moment. These are things that I did not factor into the equation and it is funny how such a little oversight would result in big consequences.
One of my biggest challenges in attempting to maintain meaningful relationships with Argentines is dealing with latinos who have feelings but aren't overly expressive. Argentines break every stereotype that could possibly pop into your mind about latinos and overly emotional behavior. In fact there are situations when the level of emotion shown was much less than what I've experienced in the Canadian culture.