Scott E. Chalom

Scott has been an English language trainer for the last twenty years. Although his first love was Archaeology, (he received his BA in Anthropology from UCLA in 1981) he continued in his family’s business in LA, CA until 1999 and then moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil to begin a new chapter in his life with his Brazilian wife, Cecilia Bienes Chalom.

Prior to beginning his life as an educator in English language training, Scott had begun his graduate work for a teaching certificate in the LA unified school district at CSUN.

While Scott was in business one of his responsibilities was employee training and he did it quite well, sometimes already needing to teach basic words and phrases in English.

Scott has an innate ability to teach and a gift of connecting with his students and being able to identity his students challenges and focus in on what needs to be perfected.

In 1999 he arrived in Brazil and began to experience the very same challenges that his current students face in relation to language learning, culture shock and adapting to a new world. With his gift for teaching, he immediately was hired by six different language schools. C.N.A., Real Time, St Andrews, Open English, New England and Up N Up. After one year he began to leave the schools and eventually he and his wife opened their own school, The ABC American English Language Center, in Santo Andre, SP, Brazil.

During his years as head teacher he developed his own unique methodology which is a mix of the most popular methods used today. What he found, was that almost any method worked if the student connected with his or her teacher.

A question that he once posed and wrote about was “Do you really want to learn English?” this was what he wrote in a post to Linked In on March 3rd, 2015.

 

“This is a very common question that I get from almost all of my students. Usually by the time a student comes to me to begin private English classes, they will have achieved a certain degree of success. They usually can understand pretty well, but they are frustrated because their speaking skills aren’t quite there yet. They will begin to say what they want and then stop and begin to search their brain for the word that they want to use and alas, to no avail. What I have always explained is that you need to remember how long it took you to learn your first language. Think about it. At about 20 weeks in your mother’s womb, you begin to hear your mother and little by little develop your native language. So at your 5th month of pregnancy you are beginning to learn your first language. That gives you 4 months of language lessons in the womb.

Then you are born and you get another year or more of listening before you utter your first word, probably “mama”. So we are speaking anywhere from a year and four months to almost 2 years total in some cases, the elapsed time of listening, before you may utter that first word. So, as my ten year old daughters would say, “RELAX!!!!!!” Do what I am telling you to do is to listen as much as possible to everything in your new target language. I know that we experts talk about a lot of different methodologies to learn a language, but in truth, most of it is learned by you watching and listening; and then not being afraid to take a chance and just trying to speak.

We all hate making mistakes and having people recognize that we are foreigners. I went through that for 11 years in Brazil. But unfortunately, contrary to what some people may tell you, you never really lose your accent. So the objective is to pronounce correctly and in the rhythm of the target language.

So, to summarize, it could take you up to two years of intensive study before you will loosen your tongue and be able to speak more confidently in your second language.”

Since 2010 he is back to the US and began teaching English at different language academies, and now is promoting his own.

Sourse: Aldea Educativa Magazine Edition 34

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