Moderator: Tempo Gain
many of them were really making an effort to teach, but I feel like most of the time they were like artists performing in front of a bunch of unresponsive pumpkins.
HenHaoChi wrote:... but who's fault was that, if they were doing their best? The students have to put some effort in too.
We had 6-7 levels in London, and I saw many students go from less than 10 words vocabulary to intermediate and beyond in one year. I saw many more go from intermediate to advanced in less time. The system worked for 90 percent of students. They weren't speaking English outside the classes, so progress was mainly due to the lessons. In Prague and China I saw lots of improvement too. They would give you a 3 month syllabus and you just had to get the students ready.
I would say it worked for 80 percent of students.
It doesn't always work in Taiwan, because the schools force outdated curriculums on the classes, and make teachers cover lots of ground (lots of book pages per lesson) so students can "learn more". Teachers are forced to rush through a book whether the students know the target language or not. Consequently the students learn nothing. You can deal with many classroom situations, but a rapid teaching pace will destroy the class, the students, and the buxiban's income.
I'm not sure what percentage of Buxibans do this. It's hard to tell, as I have only taught at a few. Some were excellent, some weren't.
There's also a culture of pleasing the parents here, and the parents blaming the teacher if their little pumpkin doesn't get good grades. Great idea. Give every student high marks so the parents don't get annoyed.
It's better outside Taipei and in the South, there are Buxibans that understand how to to let the teacher get on with it.
Is TEFL a con? Most of the time, no. Even the worst young teacher, who drinks at night and mumbles through lessons, will still teach them something. Taiwanese Buxibans? They might be a con.
HenHaoChi wrote:It's true that beach balls don't work for everyone. There are always a couple of quiet ones that think it's too noisy. It's hard to strike a balance between the boisterous ones getting bored, and the introverted ones getting overwhelmed, but that is what makes the job interesting, on a good day.
ironlady wrote:Language is not weight to be lost nor skills to be memorized and used. It's a natural process that happens, given enough comprehensible input.
Gain wrote:ironlady wrote:Language is not weight to be lost nor skills to be memorized and used. It's a natural process that happens, given enough comprehensible input.
I agree with this, at least according to my personal experience. I genuinely found what the schools and teachers, domestic or foreign, offered me to be extremely limited in terms of English acquisition. I had some really good English teachers in middle school and high school whom I really respected and loved, and I definitely enjoyed their courses and whatnot, but if I were to be asked about how much I had learned from them in terms of English, I'd be lying if I said 'a lot'.
I feel like it was through real interaction in English that my English significantly improved. I joined an internet forum when I was in high school where the users were from all over the world, so naturally English was the only language being used. Then over the years my English improved quite a lot by posting crap and reading crap posted by others, and I started to be able to 'think' in English. Of course I also watched tv series and movies as well, but they didn't help as much since there were always Chinese subtitles.
It's a whole different story for French though... cela est beaucoup plus difficile que anglais...
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