What follows is from my forthcoming book: Ide, Arthur Frederick (2011). Problems in Third World Education copyright:
Most of the major schools (colegios) and universities are using the IB books with poorly qualified/underqualified/unqualified teacher whose linguistic skills are weak at best. They discourage students as they are poorly not only poorly trained but badly organised, while the IB books have little relevance to Third World nations, and are overpriced. 50% of their profits are funneled back into the schools that require them, as if 50% of the cost for all IB examinations and directors of the IB Programme demand graft payments to use the programme and its books.
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is a “department” of Cambridge University UK English studies. It was developed in Geneva by Desmond Cole-Baker and his colleague Robert Leach (a USA social studies teacher) in 1962. In 1966 it was funded by the Ford Foundation. The IB Programme is too expensive for Third World nations (a text-book in Perú costs S/.165 which is approximately one-weeks salary for the laborer; thus most students buy illegal photocopies for S/.10) and is a “two-tier” education system further dividing education between the rich and the poor emerged as the growth in IB is driven by private schools and sixth-form colleges. (See all end notes in blue between blue brackets are at the base of this essay; this is taken from my book in press : Ide, Arthur Frederick (2011). Problems in Third World Education. All rights reserved.) Since this was originally researched, the IB Programme’s website has changed. It now claims that in 1968, “A group of talented, forward-thinking teachers at the International School of Geneva, with assistance from several other international schools, created the IB Diploma Programme. What started life as a single programme for internationally mobile students preparing for university, has today grown into three programmes for students aged 3 to 19.” Desmond Cole-Baker and Robert Leach are no longer mentioned. The first President of the IB Board is listed as John Goormagtigh, director of the European office of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. It claims to be offering “three challenging programmes to over 877,000 students aged 3 to 19 years” working “with 3,074 schools in 139 countries.” Like all businesses, it has its own store to sell its own products: pens, bags, and miscellaneous sundries. The teachers of English in the IB Programme barely function: pronunciation is poor, and subject matter knowledge difficult—leading most teachers to reading to the students, or in Chiclayo at SENATI, the teachers and the coordinator “teach” English using the Spanish language nearly exclusively. At the schools that are enrolled in the expensive IB Programme, most teachers are barely fluent in English and depend solely on the IB Programme books: books that have numerous errors. The most common error in the IB books is beginning sentences with conjunctions—ignoring the fact that conjunctions join clauses. Basic rules of grammar are overlooked or ignored not only by the faculty and their administrators but even by Third World governments and their ministries of education.
The tragedy is most poor nations do not encourage nor fund the learning of English. This is especially true where what universities or schools do exist; they are either controlled by religion, politics, or for-profit groups. This short-sightedness is especially true in Perú where the deans and directors have little time and offer marginal funding for language centers even though, like a private for-profit university advertises that its language center in downtown Chiclayo (Lambayeque Province) offers Italian, Portuguese, German, French and English—but only has classes for students who must pass a “proficiency” in English in order to graduate.
Most of the major schools (colegios, although there are those such as Bruning in Chiclayo that delights in calling itself a “College” even for the kindergarten) and universities are using the IB books which are weak at best. They discourage students as they are poorly organised, have little relevance to Third World nations, and are overpriced since 50% of their profits are funneled back into the schools that require them, as if 50% of the cost for all IB examinations and directors of the IB Programme demand graft payments to use the programme and its books. The IB Programme books used in Third World Nations, such as in Perú at “language institutes” (for example in Perú at SENATI) are not only illegal photocopies but taught by teachers who teach only for the money, with the Lima “Perú-wide” coordinator Isabel/Elisabeth admitting to José Ventura Berrios that the numerous errors in the books “are unimportant” and that the only thing that “is important is to get the students’ money—not teach them correct English.”
The tragedy is that all basic rules of grammar or overturned or ignored and thus rejected. For instance, as I presented in a PowerPoint overview at one of the many universities in Lambayeque Province in Perú, the errors in the First Certificate in English [FCE] books are startling overwhelming especially in its misuse of conjunctions. A conjunction joins clauses; it cannot begin a sentence, end a sentence, or be a sentence, and IB ignores this rule regularly.
This misuse of conjunctions is even more dramatic when going through the FCE book, for they are repeated in numerous places. Not only are conjunctions misused, but the FCE IB Programme book does not follow the basic rules of capitalization (or to be charitable, it is possible that the IB Programme books are never edited carefully). We find:
Which is but one error on the page. For example:
To make matters worse for the students who have the misfortune of “studying” the IB Programme, we find this:
When I was asked by the Director of the Translation and Interpretation School of Languages at the university to note errors in the current English File series, I responded after the salutation:
I am going to try to give you as many as possible (plus attach a PowerPoint to point out just a few errors in the FCE books) as a complete list is in my forthcoming book: The IB Programme and Destroying Education in the Third World. For example:
(1) page 122 of Elementary Student’s Book
(a) articles: a/an, the [in reality, “this” and “that” are also singular articles as it is “this globe” and “that chair”–they are NOT plural articles
(b) there is no mention of the “zero” article (which is both singular and plural); in general, the zero article is used with proper nouns, mass nouns where the reference is indefinite, and plural count nouns where the reference is indefinite. Also, the zero article is generally used with means of transport (“by plane”) and common expressions of time and place (“at noon,” “in prison”). The reference does not count nouns, institutional nouns, and mass nouns. See: Ron Cowan, The Teacher’s Grammar of English. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2008.
(2) page 123 ibid., is irrational on the issue of adjectives (see my book on grammar: Business English: From Grammar to Composition). (Articles are adjectives! as they go before the noun and that is nowhere presented.)
(a) Nowhere is the list of order of adjectives given. The order is:
- quantity or number
- proper adjective (often nationality or other place of origin)
- purpose or qualifier
“3B” has as its title “telling the time” but that is a fragment; it is “telling time” or “telling the time of day/night” etc.
“3C” is marginal at best–my chapter on adverbs is over 30 pages, not two bullets.
“3D” prepositions of time is a bad joke. Prepositions of time includes: since, for, by, from—to, from-until, during,(with)in that are explained at the Purdue University website as:
- She has been gone since yesterday. (She left yesterday and has not returned.)
- I’m going to Paris for two weeks. (I will spend two weeks there.)
- The movie showed from August to October. (Beginning in August and ending in October.)
- The decorations were up from spring until fall. (Beginning in spring and ending in fall.)
- I watch TV during the evening. (For some period of time in the evening.)
- We must finish the project within a year. (No longer than a year.)
see: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/594/1/ ; the rest of English prepositions are both in my grammar book and my more specialised/specialized book Prepositions for Life.
“4A” — “can” is ability–it should be coupled with “may” which is permission.
“4B” ignores that “like” is also a verb and a gerund: “He likes her.” “She is liking what she sees.”
“4C” is truncated woefully. You is the singular first person, but the plural is “you all” or “everybody” the same as it is in Spanish (Usted, Ustedes). There is no mention of demonstrative (this, that, these, those) or interrogative pronouns (who, whom, which, what, etc.), nor of objective, subjective, indefinite (The most common indefinite pronouns are “all,” “another,” “any,” “anybody,” “anyone,” “anything,” “each,” “everybody,” “everyone,” “everything,” “few,” “many,” “nobody,” “none,” “one,” “several,” “some,” “somebody,” and “someone”) or other pronouns.
Now, let us look at the text the students are expected to read–it is basically street English (vulgar or common).
Page 4: “Nice to meet you” — should be “It is nice to meet you” (the former is a fragment)
1.d = According to all dictionaries I have consulted “roleplay” is a hyphenated word: role-play.
Page 5: 3e: “In pairs, write two more words in each column” [In pairs–of what?] It is vague.
5b is street English: See you on Saturday; it should be “I will see you on Saturday”–there is no subject. You is a pronoun, the direct object is Saturday.
Page 7: 5a: Ask other students. [The period indicates a complete sentence, but there is no noun which is required. To avoid this, there should be a colon at after “students” to indicate that a list of words or terms follows. The book is faulty in punctuation most of the time. See my book Punctuation Handbook.
Page 11: “this” and “that” are singular–not plurals: this chair, that girl, and so forth. (3a).
Page 13: Capital letters–incorrect as the list is too limited. English requires an initial capital letter for the names of rivers, oceans, lakes, planets, months of the year, and so forth (see my book Using Capitals Correctly).
Page 14: Verb phrases are not verbs. A Verb Phrase is a syntactic structure composed of the predictive elements of a sentence and its function is to provide information about the subject of the sentence. “open” is a verb (it is also a noun = an open-faced sandwich), as are “answer” “read” “work” all that are used as verbs. A verb phrase is a phrase that
- has the syntactic role of a simple verb, and
- is composed of a main verb and auxiliary verbs or verbal particles related syntactically to the verb.
This can be found at any website. It should be in any basic text-book, along with description, definition, and examples.
Page 15: “Where are English words from?” (This is bad English to begin with!) It did not come from Old English; that is bad history. English is actually a “contemporary” (2000 years ago) invasion from the West Germanic language that originated from the Anglo-Frisian dialects (there were “nations known as Anglia, Frisia, Saxony, etc–which gave us “Anglo-Saxon) brought to Britain by Germanic invaders from various parts of what is now northwest Germany and the Netherlands (where the Frisians ultimately settled). Initially, Old English was a diverse group of dialects, reflecting the varied origins of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England. Before the Germanic tribes invaded “England” the people (known as Picts) spoke what was known as Brit (from which we get “British”. But with various invasion of “Northmen” (Nors-men = Norwegians) and others, it settled into the current mode for the poor while the French brought in a more “civilized” language for the conquerors–thus the poor raised pigs but the nobles ate porque (pork), the poor raised cows but the rich are “boef” (beef) and so forth. (See: Ide, Arthur Frederick (1991). History of the Development of the English Language. Garland: Tangelwuld.)
It is acceptable to truncate history–but wrong to ascribe it other than it occurred–much like Texas Board of Education is rewriting USA history books to show that slavery was not bad, the Ku Klux Klan had the best interest of the people in mind, that liberals waste resources and want war [George Bush is a liberal?], etc.
On page 20, no where is the em dash explained, and students do not understand it nor how it functions.
Pages 19 and 21 attempt to use phonic characters–but they are not explained.
Page 22–there are no people “in” the photos–that would mean that the actual person resides within the photos. These are “photos of people”. (In another IB book used at San Agustin in Chiclayo, there is a page with students holding photographs and saying “this is me.” No–the photo is not the person–it is a likeness or representative/representation of the person.)
Page 25, in the illustration of an e-mail, Rosa writes: “I like music, cinema and sport.” Which sport–as sport is a singular and particular word; the correct word would have a final “s”–sports, meaning diversions that are athletic in nature and then it is a noun. As a verb it means to “amuse oneself”, “to frolic,” “gambol” or “make light of” when there is no final “s”. That is found in all dictionaries. Even in Britain (UK) it is “sports”. See: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sports.
A conjunction is separated from the clause with a comma, not an em-dash as on page 27. See Towson University English Department at http://www.towson.edu/ows/conjunctions.htm
As for dictionaries (p. 27, c.) my students use the Macmillan, but its definition of “paragraph” is “one or more sentences.” No, never, as that is wrong, as a paragraph must have at least two sentences, with four to six being the average. Longmans, Pearson, MM and other dictionaries have so many errors that I have to waste time explaining what is correct in each situation. It is true, at times, these dictionaries put an “s” after the word to inform the student it is “slang”–or use “inf.s” for informal slang. Students, however, assume that since a word is in the dictionary it is acceptable. I have students writing “Iza gonna be a english teacher.” They earn a grade of zero for such a mangled composition.
When my book on the IB Programme and its “teaching tools” comes out, I will be delighted for you to read about the books and why they are bad for Perú, all Third World Nations, even Spain and Europe. They are a miserly, feeble, poor means of teaching good English. Unfortunately, it has been noted that 80% of all English today is bad English. http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/2010/08/11/now-we-know-how-to-fix-schools-fire-80-of-all-new-teachers/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Register_(linguistics)
While composing my letter on October 25, 2010, it was interesting to note that Wikipedia was “updated” on the same date—deleting all mention to the original “founders” of the programme and following IB guidelines. None of these existed at the beginning of my research.
According to the updated website for IB, the idea of the IB Programme is given a new source: “Marie-Thérèse Maurette created the framework for what would eventually become the IB Diploma Programme in 1948 when she wrote “Is There a Way of Teaching for Peace?, a handbook for UNESCO” with the reference being Biennial Conference of IB Nordic Schools”. http://www.ibo.org. p. pg.7. http://www.ibo.org/dg/emeritus/speeches/documents/nordic sep05.pdf. Retrieved 6 July 2009.
This occurred two months to the day after I made my first objection to the programme and questioned the academic credentials of the original founders Desmond Cole-Baker and his colleague Robert Leach. Both men have evaporated from the internet as if they were non-beings—much as has been the case with others who fell out of favour with the powers that controlled them. The one thing that can be addressed with certainty is that the IB Programme does not tolerate nor welcome dissent, as can easily be seen on its webpage for teachers. This website is rigidly monitored and what IB Programme officials consider to be heresy promptly deleted–as I learned when I replied to a teacher who asked for instructions on how to teach about women in Nazi Germany. The moderator told her to forget women and concentrate on the death camps, even though death camps were created and used to exterminate women workers.
Tragically, for Perú, schools are regularly sucked into this money-making scheme not only to the detriment of true learning but to the economic impoverishment of both the students who have to work at night to pay for overpriced courses and books and/or their parents who support them. In most schools where IB has a stranglehold, a single text-book costs one week’s salary—leading many students into their first crime of photocopying the books or buying illegal copies from hawkers and other vendors. Copyright laws are openly ignored.
 Clark, Laura (2009-19-04). “Fears of ‘two-tier’ education systems as pupils taking rival exam to A-levels rise by 40%,” Daily Mail [UK].
 I taught the 7th and 8th term “pre-intermediate” students for three weeks for five hours on Saturday and another five hours on Sunday, and they were expected to be “immersed” in the language and be proficient in June 2010. Each student detailed that all previous teachers taught the class in Spanish. No student could read and understand even the briefest story or paragraph in the MM Publication for the IB Programme. On their midterm (two weeks after the course started) at best made a failing grade of 60 points out of 100. The teachers at the Language Centres are native Peruanos who “trained” at a “language enter in Chiclayo” [language centre in Chiclayo] where vulgar (street or common) English rules. They are not taught grammar or writing, and upon graduating accept teaching positions that require writing, pronunciation, or analysis. Instead of teaching English in the English language, the teachers teach primarily in Spanish as I learned when I taught at the Centro de Idiomas [Language Center] in downtown Chiclayo for the Universidad Señor de Sipan. They passed their students to the next level in order to keep a job (I failed my entire class and quit), for when students fail it is assumed to be the fault of the teacher. I was told by the assistant to the Director that the Deans did not see the value of English, even though Backus, Merck, Sika, CALSA (Fleishmann’s Yeast) Motorola, and other major industries in the Province of Lambayeque correspond in English and / or are owned by English-speaking firms.
 The IB Programme is too expensive for Third World nations (a text-book in Perú costs S/.165 which is approximately one-weeks salary for the unskilled laborer. Most students buy illegal photocopies for S/.10). The IB Programme is, essentially, a “two-tier” education system further dividing education between the rich and the poor. The rich, who can afford private tutors, private study rooms in homes, etc. are few in number but emerge as tomorrow’s leaders. The growth in IB is driven by private schools and sixth-form colleges (Clark, Laura (2009-19-04). “Fears of ‘two-tier’ education systems as pupils taking rival exam to A-levels rise by 40%,” Daily Mail [UK].
The sources are now found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_ Baccalaureate_Diploma_Programme last modified October 10, 2010. It is noted in http://www.tutorgig.com/ed/IB_Diploma_Programme that Writing about the genesis of the International Baccalaureate in Schools Across Frontiers, Alec Peterson credits Leach as “the original promoter of the International Baccalaureate.” At the end of the conference Unesco funded the International School Association with an additional $10,000 which was inadequate to do more than produce a few papers, or bring teachers together for meetings.