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Local Teachers of English Language in State Schools
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How effective are local English language teachers in your region?
Excellent
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Pretty Good
30%
 30%  [ 6 ]
Just Fair
20%
 20%  [ 4 ]
Weak
35%
 35%  [ 7 ]
Total Waste of Time
15%
 15%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 20

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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12086
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my experince they are almost invariably better than most "native-speakers". That applies even to Saudi Arabia !
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12295
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear spiral78,

Take out the word "local" and you may see why I'm having trouble answering the poll.

In both cases (i.e. locals and imported NSs) I've seen the gamut, from excellent to deplorable.

Regards,
John
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fluffyhamster wrote:
As for the school students in Japan, only a minority are more than minimally interested, with the motivated and halfway-capable a real rarity (probably well under just a few percent).
Research is showing that the reason is the way it is taught after junior high, as I mentioned.

Quote:
.I just wish they would (or should that be could?) be more receptive to the opportunities offered by the funding of native speakers to be in schools (e.g. via the JET Programme, dispatch agencies etc). Still, at least the Japanese have funded such stuff, which is more than can be said for the UK (AFAIK), which seems a bit cheapskate even when it comes to funding proper language teachers.
"Proper"? Do you say that JET and dispatch ALTs are actually proper teachers? What are [u]their[/quote] qualifications? You know the answer!
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12086
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Saudi I saw the whole gamut of "native-speaking" EFLers. New arrivals had all sorts of paper qualifications but a large number were incapable of communicating in Standard English in speech or writing. Total inability to communicate with students was surprisingly common.
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
In my experince they are almost invariably better than most "native-speakers". That applies even to Saudi Arabia !

Isn't that a country where the "teaching English in Arabic" method prevails among local teachers?

Are you certain that your inveterate contrarianism isn't leading you to exaggerate and/or airbrush your memories a bit?

scot47 wrote:
In Saudi I saw the whole gamut of "native-speaking" EFLers. New arrivals had all sorts of paper qualifications but a large number were incapable of communicating in Standard English in speech or writing. Total inability to communicate with students was surprisingly common.

I can also easily see relatively competent people being reduced to gibbering morons after some time in the Magic Kingdom. I nearly accepted a job there, until I realized that even attempting to mentally prepare for a stint in Saudi tended to deprive me of my capacities for coherent communication.

Also, I imagine Saudi isn't generally a place to work with serious teaching in mind. Not that serious teachers wouldn't teach there if they want/need the money, but I don't picture it as being a place people go for professional fulfillment and/or development.

~Q
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 13 Mar 2005
Posts: 2594
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder how many of those polled parents expressing dissatisfaction with English education in Japanese schools will actually be willing to pay the necessary to have better-qualified native speaker (or more well-travelled and well-qualified non-native speaker) teachers, Glenski? And they teach to the (school's) test in JHS too, by the way.

Quote:
"Proper"? Do you say that JET and dispatch ALTs are actually proper teachers? What are their qualifications? You know the answer!

Re-read what I said in the quote you made (emphasis now added):
Quote:
I just wish they would (or should that be could?) be more receptive to the opportunities offered by the funding of native speakers to be in schools (e.g. via the JET Programme, dispatch agencies etc). Still, at least the Japanese have funded such stuff, which is more than can be said for the UK (AFAIK), which seems a bit cheapskate even when it comes to funding proper language teachers.

I mean what I type. I was obviously passing from JETs and other types of AET, who are often completely unqualified and sometimes next to useless, to (via the use of the words 'even' and especially 'proper') well, "proper" teachers, i.e. those who are at least considered minimally-qualified and vetted school teachers by the UK government, due to having completed a language degree or equivalent, and then in addition a PGCE in MFL plus the experience required to gain full QTS. But while we're on the topic, what's so great about a PGCE anyway? The subject knowledge is skipped over (as it's assumed to be largely there already), one reads a few books on psychology, and then has a bit of nebulous mentoring. One certainly doesn't get much in the way of preparation for teaching overseas, speaking a foreign language, lining up with and/or acclimatising to a foreign culture, etc. So, whoopeedo doo-da. Anyway, AFAIK: the non-compulsory nature of FL study in the UK (at least until Gove's "E-Bacc" gets going), the skewing of e.g. current Mandarin GCSEs to British-born Chinese (Cantonese) speakers (i.e. the undue emphasis of that exam on written literacy as opposed to aural-oral competency), the perception of Chinese as a hard-enough language anyway (resulting in only "taster" courses and small enrollments/intakes), the requirement that Mandarin teachers be willing to teach to at least KS3 level a European language, in addition to or indeed completely instead of Mandarin, and lastly the always cheaper option of hiring potentially unqualified native Mandarin speakers, means that MFL teachers (or even assistants on a large scale) are not as well supported in the UK as they are in Japan.


Last edited by fluffyhamster on Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:07 pm; edited 2 times in total
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9300
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Dear spiral78,

Take out the word "local" and you may see why I'm having trouble answering the poll.

In both cases (i.e. locals and imported NSs) I've seen the gamut, from excellent to deplorable.

Regards,
John


Dear Johnslat:

I considered titling the thread 'non-native English speaking teachers' but I thought that would give the impression I wanted to discuss expat non-natives, and I really wanted to get at the level of what's provided for local kids in local schools.

Of course there is a range, but in a region, I think it is possible to say that 'most' students are/aren't reasonably proficient when they finish with public/state education.

Best,
spiral
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8928
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah! The poll was only for teachers of kiddies in state schools?

That's what I get for speed reading too fast...
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9300
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm. I might not have been as crystal clear as I'd have liked! Title altered to reflect. Here's where I tried to elaborate a bit in OP:
Quote:

From my experience, in Germany, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic, local teachers in public schools do a pretty decent job overall of teaching the English language, with most students able to communicate at at least B1+/B2 level upon graduation from high school equivalent.
This is also apparently true in Scandinavian countries; there is very little demand there for native English speaking teachers at any level.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8928
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ach! I didn't read that - just answered the poll question. What do you expect that early in the morning? Vodka hadn't fully kicked in to power the cognitive processes.

So, smithrn1983's comments bear more on the situation in Russia than my initial one. Though again, I'd hasten to add there is some variation even in state schools, and as far as I can see there is some movement away from the teaching environment described.


Hic!
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kpjf



Joined: 18 Jan 2012
Posts: 144

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fluffyhamster wrote:
Still, at least the Japanese have funded such stuff, which is more than can be said for the UK (AFAIK), which seems a bit cheapskate even when it comes to funding proper language teachers.


In the UK The British Council (through partner organizations) does what seems to be more or less the same as Japan with JET http://www.britishcouncil.org/languageassistants-fla.htm

However, there is a huge difference between a country that needs its population to speak English and a native English speaking one that does not have this desire. Which language should the English speaking nations' governments focus on? French? Spanish? Mandarin? This is the problem especially in the UK. Of course in America you could say Spanish should be the language to focus on due to the evergrowing Hispanic population. But, my point is that the English speaking nations in general don't have this goal like the non-English speaking countries do.


fluffyhamster wrote:


Overall though I'd say that local teachers do a reasonable job of introducing their students to English (and how many of us native English speakers here on Dave's would be able and/or willing enough to teach a foreign language?)...


That's a good point, but I'd imagine most of those people stay in their own countries to teach in secondary schools and don't come on here, don't you think? What kind of demand is there in Asia for example for non-native, but qualified French or Spanish teachers?
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
I really wanted to get at the level of what's provided for local kids in local schools.

Of course there is a range, but in a region, I think it is possible to say that 'most' students are/aren't reasonably proficient when they finish with public/state education.
I hope you took my answer into consideration, that it may not necessarily have anything to do with the teaching ability of the teachers at all.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9300
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I hope you took my answer into consideration, that it may not necessarily have anything to do with the teaching ability of the teachers at all.


I'm not likely to try to compile any sort of real overview of the issue from this poll. Far too many variables!!
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Qaaolchoura



Joined: 10 Oct 2008
Posts: 539
Location: 21 miles from the Syrian border

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sashadroogie wrote:
Ah! The poll was only for teachers of kiddies in state schools?

That's what I get for speed reading too fast...

I don't think spiral actually made that clear prior to his recen edit.

Any rate, since some of my students are English teachers in state schools, and my students are in the minority who actually make a serious effort to improve (and since I've seen the results of many years' teaching by the majority), I now know how to vote.

~Q
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9300
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
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