From the day I arrived, Jeziel made clear that my job isn’t to teach everyone English. That would (1) be impossible; and (2) is not my life mission. My job is to make people want to learn English. I am an official inspirerer. There are moments where the task feels large and hopeless—there are 75, 000 all-paid scolarships abroad just waiting for English-speaking science students to grab. It is agonizing that the students of the IF consistently qualify on the science front (they are the exact type of students the government is hoping to target) and yet are they excluded from these opportunities because of their lack of English language skills (something that would rarely inhibit an English-speaking US citizen).
But after a year of infinite visits to schools, cities, and classrooms in Petrolina and the Sertão (the region where I live); after Rugby teams, inspirational speeches, home stays, presentations and parties, I am thrilled to see Jeziel’s once abstract job description come to fruition via the partnership between the private English language school Aecus and the IF Petrolina
When 200 inspired students arrived at IF-Petrolina Director Artidonio Araujo Filho’s office and placed a signed petition to learn English on his desk, a partnership was born. Internationalization is happening—students can now take 5 hours of elementary English class a week, taught by teachers from Aecus, at a reduced rate of 50 Reais (28 USD) per month. Usually the cost of such a course would run from 130-230 R, a prohibitive cost for many of our students. Thanks to Jeziel’s vision, Artidonio’s progressive outlook and Director of Aecus Julio Bernandino Silva’s genuine care for the community (besides directing, he personally teaches one of the courses), IF-Petrolina is leading the way in preparing students to go abroad. There are 80 students studying English at the Petrolina Campus room H27-our new Global Language Laboratory- during the following times and days: Saturday 9-12 and Monday and Wednesday 10-12:30, 13:15-15:45, 19-21:30. Please visit the Aecus stand at the IF Petrolina Campus, call, or stop by to register for courses.
It can’t stop here–the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) test required to obtain a grant requires a high level of proficiency. To get a passing score, students will have to study hard for an average of 2 years. But this partnership is a very important first step in the right direction. I would like to say “well-done” to the bright students investing in their future and encourage you to keep working, keep fighting to achieve your goals. I congratulate you on your efforts. Continue to live the statement “O Brasileiro desista nunca–Brazilians never give up!”