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Non-natives not needed?!
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arioch36



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 3589

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2003 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dominika,

I don't believe much in the blonde hair needed stuff...I have seen too many schools who will hire people of different nationalities.
Only the lowest level language schools in China, the EF type meat factories, think this way. My own personal experience.
Being a "non-native" speaker does put you at a big disadvantage, though, because
1) Students and administration will be more suspicious of you..how bad is her accent, and some legitamite concerns suc as does she know the idioms and the twists of the language that sometimes only a native speaker knows, no matter how flunt they are.
2) They will also think you will work for less. Brits and Americans are the most expensive. Canadians will often work for a little less. Africans who are native english speakers will be often offered even less, regardless of what they look like.
Your personal experience and education will be a plus. I find more and more "real" schools want experience.
In Inner Mongolia, lots of Russians with questionable english skills.

Yes, I think you definitely can find a job. But if you want a quality job, it would help a lot if you went to the desired country/region to personally apply. Go to China to visit first, e-mail 30 potential schools, and see them in person. If you are a person of substance and quality, it will shine through. And sell the fact that you have gained coomplete fluency as a second language, and how it helps your teaching skills

Being Polish will make the job search harder, but you can definitely do it.
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TaoyuanSteve



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 1028
Location: Taoyuan

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2003 4:29 am    Post subject: In defense of native speakers Reply with quote

A large percentage of what a native speaker does can be called modelling of the language. This includes accent and intonation. I've seen the results of non-native teachers: students whose pronunciation is really bad. If you have a really strong foreign accent, then English teaching is not for you.
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Lucy Snow



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 218
Location: US

PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2003 9:55 am    Post subject: Non-Native Teachers Reply with quote

While I agree with Steve about native speakers "modelling" the language, I do think that when you're talking about beginners, it's much easier to teach grammar if you can explain it in the student's native language. Here in Hungary, I team-teach at a company with a Hungarian teacher of English--on Mondays she explains grammar, on Fridays I work on pronunciation, intonation, colloguial expressions, and writing. Our students are progressing nicely.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 11701
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 7:56 pm    Post subject: customers or students ? Reply with quote

Are they customers or are they students ?

In Burgerking or a franchise they are customers.

In a government institution they are students. Guess which one I prefer to work in ?
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TaoyuanSteve



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 1028
Location: Taoyuan

PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2003 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the team teach concept with non-native English speakers who speak the local language. That's what I do in Taiwan. It works well.
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Stephen



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 101

PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2003 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TaoyuanSteve wrote:
I agree with the team teach concept with non-native English speakers who speak the local language. That's what I do in Taiwan. It works well.


The team teach concept works well in Taiwan?? Then why is the progression rate in English so poor?? It would be interesting if an analysis could be done of proficiency in relation to money spent to see which country in the world would come bottom, I am sure Taiwan would come bottom or fairly close. Schools like Hess, Joy, Kojen-ELSI are not exactly reversing this trend.

Please note no criticism is aimed at you Steve, I make no judgment on your teaching having no evidence to base it on, you may or may not be delivering brilliant lessons. I am not rejecting the concept of team teaching completely either. However, I have seen enough of Team-teaching in Taiwan to recognise a farce when I see it. The concept of team teaching seems to be in favour in Taiwan purely to mask the fact that a trained experienced teacher is, generally, not employed, so the schools need a local to control the class, as the native speaker can't (no classroom management skills.)

Stephen
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TaoyuanSteve



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 1028
Location: Taoyuan

PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2003 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi. Interesting post. Is the co system responsible for the state of English in Taiwan? I don't know. Perhaps. But I think contributing factors are: too much focus on grammar and writing, and a lack of immersion opportunities. Perhaps a new string could be opened on this topic.
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Stephen



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 101

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I good point, I have posted a thread about this on on the Taiwan board.
Stephen
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Roger



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 9138

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 12:40 pm    Post subject: Situation in Taiwan...? Reply with quote

Hello TaoyuanSteve,

I don't know the situation in Taiwan too well except from the perspective of a tourist. Your points about the Taiwanese studying too much grammar and enjoying too little "immersion" sounds familiar to me, but not convincing. Familiar because such claims are often heard in China too. Have they any merit?

I don't know how they "study" grammar, perhaps you can enlighten me. I can pertinently say they don't "study" it in China - they memorise some rules. Surely we can agree in saying that studying is a little more serious work than merely learning by rote? It is well-known that East Asians acquire their vocabularies by rote. There is an absolutely quantitative approach - so many vocables in so many lessons/weeks/semesters. This is unimaginative and counterproductive! Once you have formed the habit of learning words by heart, you cannot switch to a more productive learning style! When, for example, I pointed out to some kindergarten English teachers (teachers with the relevant degree to teach at a primary or middle school, but for some reason posted to a kindergarten), with support from a very successful Israeli English kindergarten programme, that preschoolers can't handle more than a few hundred words a year, they shrugged their shoulders as though to say: "So that's what YOU believe, but we..." I saw their teaching-plans, and by Gosh! That looked impressive like a train schedule: Week one:... Week 2: ... Week 3: .... Expressions the poor kids were supposed to "learn" included "I like coffee! Please, give me a cup of coffee!" "Can I help you?" - "Yes, how much are these biscuits?" "Three dollars fifty..."

Grammar? No focus there. They hop from present tense to the past to the future. How do the kids "understand" the difference between "My friend is coming to my home today!" and "my friend comes..."?

That's at kindergarten level, admitted, not globally comparable to the classrooms of a primary school. But it would be a mistake to assume they teach and learn grammar in-depth there!
If there was any thoroughness in their teaching and studies, then surely one of the commonest hurdles would disappear, namely the persistent failure of Chinese English speakers to respect the correct SVA!
The fact that most, indeed, almost all, confuse "he" with "she" is further proof that their learning of English is done purely by heart, not by brain.
Do they ever analyse sentences? Not that I have ever seen that! Do they make substitution drills? At best in chorus, with their teacher directing the orchestra!
What kind of "immersion" might benefit Chinese or Taiwanese English students? To my way of thinking: none! They can't understand standard English, and they can't produce anything similar to standard English. What most of them do is to speak English haltingly, stopping every once in a short while to translate the next couple of words.
They manifestly can't think in English, and without that you have to be a terrific good translator if you want to maintain a dialogue with a native English speaker! Interpreters at international meetings seldom translate/interpret for more than a couple of hours - it is too stressful for a human mind to listen to a person speaking in one language and translating it into another!
The point I am trying to make is: Something gets neglected here that comes before people use a language: Thinking!
Surely you had to learn to understand your mother when you were a baby, surely your mother could not ask you "what time is it?" or "are you hungry?" Surely you had no choice over what you wanted your mother to communicate to you - you had to accept her utterances. You had time, much more time than a EFL student has in learning English at school. Surely it is a mistake to believe a student can acquire a second tongue in a couple of years when he or she is still learning his or her mother tongue?
The difference between L1 and L2 is that in one's first language one has formed one's concepts and basic notions. One's thinking is structured in the language we routinely and effortlessly speak. But in the L2, we have to sort of start from scratch, learning to understand the concepts of time, movement, action.
My Chinese is rudimentary, but I am often vexed by the fact that English has a well defined structure and many different orders that do not have equivalents in Chinese: If I talk about wine, then I am talking about a specific type of alcohol. In Chinese, there is one word for both, which typically leads to a lot of confusion. The word for vegetables is not understood as a generic term either. Nor is there a general word for all mushrooms. You have to use the specific name that is applicable. Wheat noodles or rice noodles? And so on!
The upshot is that Chinese ought to learn "to play" with English syntax and grammar, finding out the results that occur when you replace certain words with others, or certain forms with other forms. What questions arise? What answers?
That is what students elsewhere do when studying an L2. Eventually, students should know for themselves their own weaknesses, and learn to cope with them!
After all, the most successful teachers are the students themselves! We are only guides.
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matko



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2003 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Dominika

I work with a Polish teacher in Japan. We are both working in the public school system. Some boards of education here actively look for non native speakers of English to teach. If you need more info, pm me and I'll help as much as I can.
Take care
Matko
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Bertrand



Joined: 02 Feb 2003
Posts: 293

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2003 4:22 am    Post subject: Re: Non-natives not needed?! TRY EF ENGLISH FIRST! Reply with quote

dominika wrote:
Hi there! My name's Dominika and I'm Polish. I've been browsing the job net for some time now and what I sadly realised is that the vast majority of offers is directed to native speakers and EU members. I understand the legal basis of this but could anybody tell me if there are any chances for me to get a teaching position abroad? I would be really gratetful for any sort of tips. I have CELTA, 5 yrs teaching experience, BA in English Philology and used to live and study abroad during my college days. Is there anything I've been missing, except for a Brit/US passport? Wink


Perhaps you should try EF English First; they employ non-native speakers. China is full of Polish girls in the Summer period. Some non-native speakers have even become DOSs (e.g., Urumaqi).
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