Home Country: Brazil
Voting for the IVHQ Teach & Volunteer Abroad Scholarship has now closed. Congratulations to each of our 12 finalists, including Armando Wunsch and Hannah Pitts who have been awarded with a scholarship.
With over 4 years of experience teaching English in Brazil, Armando is currently studying to become a Spanish teacher to help further “inspire the new generation of Brazilians”. He is also in the process of developing an online platform called Pop Culture ESL which is designed to stimulate his students’ interest in learning English. Armando shares, “It’s about bringing pop culture to my classroom, especially with teenagers. I felt the need to start developing it because my teenager students didn’t feel motivated and engaged studying English with only the topics studied in the books, so I started working with celebrities, movies, songs, etc and they loved it.” We were inspired by Armando’s enthusiasm for teaching English as a second language and his desire to apply his international volunteering experience to raise cultural awareness among his students back home.
Why are you passionate about teaching English abroad?
I believe that knowledge should be international and free. All people, no matter where they come from or how much money they make a year, should have access to information and knowledge. Knowledge change people’s minds, it is that powerful, so knowing that I have the power to make someone think for themselves and discover new ways of living, exploring and developing their sense of citizenship in this world is just amazing.
What experience/skills can you apply to teaching English abroad?
I have been teaching English for 4 years. During this period of time I had the opportunity to know and develop my teaching skills in different teaching methods that allowed my creativity to adapt into different environments. Teaching for projects like “Projeto Pescar” where I didn’t have much resources to work with, I had to manage and make the most of what I had; and teaching for private schools I had the opportunity to really dig deep in the technological world, exploring in numerous resources to develop new and challenging activities that the new generation crave for. I am also in college to be a Spanish teacher because I really want to know the foundation of teaching, understand it better and know how I can apply my knowledge. I really want to work for government schools and inspire the new generation of Brazilians to want more, using the knowledge I share with them to search for better ways of living and help society. I am also working on a new project called PopCultureESL.com, it’s about bringing pop culture to my classroom, specially with teenagers. I felt the need to start developing it because my teenager students didn’t feel motivated and engaged studying English with only the topics studied in the books, so I started working with celebrities, movies, songs, etc and they loved it.
Why do you believe you will be effective in teaching English abroad?
I believe that the most important thing about these two weeks is to use English to inspire the students, let them know that it’s possible for them to dream big and want more. Creating a good accountability for this knowledge and giving them resourcers and opportunities so they can continue developing their skills is the key of it all.
What are you looking to gain from the experience?
I always look for opportunities that allow me to experience new things, for my personal growth and also to share it with my students. Knowing that this program will not only impact the lives of the children involved in the program but all my students and people around the world who will be following everything we do on the internet is just amazing, it’s definitely more I could ever ask for.