LIVING AND TEFL TEACHING IN MEXICO.RED CARPETS AND HUMANITY

I AM BOWLED OVER BY THE BEAUTY OF THE COUNTRY AND THE PEOPLE. My fourth month in Mexico sails on happily. The little I’ve seen of this massive country has me hooked. And the people are some of the friendliest, most welcoming and easy going I’ve ever encountered. I feel safe and at home here in Tehuacan. More than in some English cities and towns. I’ve had people shout things at me in the U.K. Here, a guy I had never met walked past me as I sat outside having a coffee. He shouted “Enjoy Mexico”. Like anywhere it’s not perfect but it’s been perfect for me.

(The view from Cinco Senores,Puebla)

“To learn a language is to have one more window from which to see the world”
A Chinese proverb.
Teaching English while travelling and living in other countries is like taking control of YOUR own endless roll of red carpet. It makes you feel comfortable and so special. One of my students gives me the biggest smile whenever he sees me. Always checks if I’m busy. Then sits down with his questions of the day. Then leaves with both of us smiling. He tells me about his plan to learn German, Arabic and Chinese alongside the taste of French he already has. I love the sound or glint in a student’s eyes when they understand a part of the topic we are discussing. And when they see their potential. Students ask my permission before entering the room. People are respectful of each other. People stare at me because I am a tall, black, different and a foreign visitor. With bemusement, amusement, interest but never with anger or aggression. And exchange greetings as we pass by.
A DOWNLOAD WITH TEFL LEARNING TIPS.

I’ve just updated my website – www.keithstewart.co.uk. Here is a clip of the new -Improve your English download that has been added. A collection of tips and ideas to help you learn and improve your English. Or any language I suppose. Mexican ingenuity, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit would say – make it work for you. The ideas don’t belong to me, so feel free to use and share them. I like the environmental friendliness of a download. Please download and share it.
“AN INTEREST IN LANGUAGES IS AN INTEREST IN PEOPLE AND THEIR WORLD. PEOPLE NOT LIKE YOU” (UNKNOWN).
My Mexican students are hungry to learn English. They see windows open. A sharp contrast to the populism of trump and brexit et al. I read that in the U.K. the number of GCSE students taking foreign languages has fallen. Teachers speak of parents telling their children that they don’t need to learn a foreign language because Britain is leaving Europe. Rolling up the red carpet of opportunities. There’s the real wall.
For students here at the end of the work or school day, there is no such fear. They pack up and head to more classes and homework.
HUMANITY, TACOS AND GOOD MENTAL HEALTH.
All the “white noise” of brexit, trump, populism and the usual grind takes on a new perspective from this side of the world. You realise a lot of time is given to what is very little. That’s the real damage to your mental health.
My life is definitely richer in very many ways since starting my new career as a TEFL Teacher. Even my own small and slow journey learning Spanish is opening the world to me. It’s a window into the culture too. Sometimes it’s more than the cost of an item in the shop. It’s ordering your dinner and chatting with the woman and man running the taco stand. Being given a free taco while you wait as a blessing. Because they appreciate the blessing of your visit to their village. That’s the real sign of good mental health. That’s humanity. That’s how to unroll your red carpet for others to share……
WHAT ARE YOUR BEST AND EXPERIENCES OF TRAVELLING THE WORLD?
www.keithstewart.co.uk
TOP 5 LANGUAGES BY SPEAKERS 2018.
1. Chinese. 1.28 billion total speakers. Spoken in 37 countries.
2. Spanish. 436 million total speakers. Spoken in 31 countries.
3. English. 372 million speakers. Spoken in 106 countries. More widely spoken.
4. Arabic 295 million total speakers.
5. Hindu 269 million speakers.
(World Economic Forum.)
MEXICO BRIEF 2018 FIGURES.
SIZE – 762,000 square miles (U.K. 94,000 square miles), 13th largest country and 15th largest economy in the world. 126 million population. (various sources).

Keith Stewart – from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. A qualified TEFL teacher, Murder she wrote, Colombo and Presuntos Implicados fan. Happily teaching TEFL in Tehuacan, Mexico.
KEITH STEWART – 27TH AUGUST 2019

BLOG #56

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