¿Por qué no somos bilingües ?

¿Por qué no somos bilingües ?


Por: Héctor Jiménez


Desde que la Alcaldía Mayor del Distrito Capital decidió que Bogotá debía y necesitaba ser una ciudad bilingüe, siendo Alcalde Mayor el Dr. Antanas Mockus, hemos observado varios intentos fallidos como abrir cursos gratuitos de inglés y traer personal norteamericano, para que nuestros profesores mejoren la calidad del idioma. Y no es que estos intentos sean ineficientes, todo lo contrario, son parte esencial para lograr una ciudad bilingüe. ¿Pero qué ha sucedido entonces? Es opinión general que el inglés es muy difícil, y particularmente todas las instituciones oficiales encargadas de lograrlo, no han pensado en el problema básico. Este problema, simple y sencillo, consiste en capacitar el profesorado de idiomas extranjeros en metodología para desarrollar habilidades lingüísticas, en lugar de teoría de la gramática que sólo nos aporta un conocimiento.

Bien conocido es el proceso metodológico desarrollado por un altísimo porcentaje de instructores: la gramática. Con explicar un conjunto de reglas gramaticales y realizar unos pocos ejercicios mecánicos sobre ellas, consideramos que se ha cumplido con la tarea instruccional, y dejamos al aprendiz abandonado, para enfrentarse a una evaluación de conocimientos, sin preocuparnos absolutamente de sus habilidades lingüísticas o tratando de evadir nuestra responsabilidad culpando los pupilos por su falta de atención, incapacidad para los idiomas o falta de voluntad para su aprendizaje. Una referencia muy simple, podría ser, la que se presenta en los primeros años de estudio de toda persona.
Cuando un niño, de cuatro o cinco años de edad, llega al colegio a iniciar sus estudios formales, habla su idioma y no tiene problemas mayúsculos de comunicación; sin embargo, no sabe leer ni escribir… Y menos, sabe gramática. ¿Por qué entonces basamos nuestro aprendizaje de un idioma extranjero a través de reglas gramaticales? He allí el gran error.

Finalmente, no subestimamos lo que se ha hecho. Viene al caso nombrar el ILCA, (Instituto Lingüístico Colombo Americano), cuyos instructores, durante los años de existencia del Instituto, dedicó su tiempo a investigar sobre aprendizaje de idiomas (inglés), editó textos para uso a nivel nacional y capacitó profesores sobre cómo se aprende un idioma… Y no, sobre cómo se enseña un idioma. Su labor, de aproximadamente 15 años, se suspendió, seguramente con la razón de que no había presupuesto, y toda su investigación quedó en un rinconcito en el sótano del MEN, en donde seguramente lo devoró el tiempo.

Afortunadamente algunos profesores, a nivel particular, han continuado esa investigación y están en capacidad de mostrar que en Colombia podemos ser bilingües y que nuestros bachilleres, sin mayor dificultad, pueden hablar uno o dos idiomas extranjeros, lo que abriría miles de puertas a nuestros profesionales actuales y del futuro.
Se impone, entonces, una capacitación nacional sobre metodología actual. Necesitamos saber cómo se aprende un idioma para diseñar unas estrategias sobre cómo se enseña un idioma.


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