Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Anti-English-native-speaker-ism in immigrant ESL programmes
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General North America Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9486
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear John:

Yes, of course there are still bastions of old-school style teaching in North America - and quite a few teachers and students who still feel that it's the most useful and appropriate approach to the matter. No argument from me on that - different strokes for different folks, after all.

As nomadsoul says, I agree it's best to be sure that one's preferred style will be a reasonable fit before taking a job.

I think the gap occurs when a DOS who may not necessarily be totally cognizant of how disparate teaching approaches may be forgets to ask a candidate clear questions. Also, the university I mentioned before was in the process of changing over to a more experiential approach - some of the teachers firmly fixed to traditional ways were hired before the changes were requested. Fair enough! But we had a couple of teachers with significant experience in Asia who really bombed trying to adopt a different approach - it seemed to be beyond their scope of imagination to allow students any control over a class:-) I"m not generalising on this small anecdotal experience, though!!

best,
spiral
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
It's Scary!



Joined: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 824

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally different beasts might be one view. But. like most arguments, the target is circular and, if one takes a step to the right or left, the perspective changes as well.

Let me continue, I worked in the same context as John...not so long as he, but close. John's worked for ESL for a while now, but I don't think that he was as lucky as me in that I came back last year and was almost thrust into a circumstance that was very fortunate for me. I teach nearly the same people I did for 16 years. Gulf Arabs. I know these people. I know the myriad failures of their "educational" systems. And, I can finish the sentences that they start.

In this context, this gives me an insight into where their troubles lay and gives me the opportunity to develop strategies that will make them successful learners in our educational paradigm and the ability to explain how they were so poorly prepared for success in our learning environment.

This allows me to give insights to my ESL brethern who have not been exposed to years of this culture by explaining "why" these bizarre things happen and lets my students know that I am "with them" and they can trust my guidance in what is, surely, a scary proposition to them.

It's Scary!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12689
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear It's Scary,

Ah, but I'm lucky in a different way. All my students are in class because they want to be, not because they have to be, for one reason or another.

Moreover, the staff is totally supportive, my director is a dream, and I have carte blanche in designing and teaching my courses.

On the other hand, I'm sure you get paid more - a LOT more. But hey, I'm happy with what I've got Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy .

Regards,
John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dmocha



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:45 pm    Post subject: To be perfectly honest, I WAS out of touch. Reply with quote

“dmocha, I wonder how much of this comes from the belief that you're supposedly out of touch with the culture because you were overseas for a lengthy time.”

To be perfectly honest, I WAS out of touch. I spent several decades overseas and rarely went back. The fact that I was out of touch would not have been very apparent in a short job interview.

Looking back now, I can say it took me about six years to overcome reverse culture shock. Even now I sometimes mix up SVO or OVS and this coming from SVO language areas. My pronunciation is about 97% of what it was when I left. Most of this was more apparent to my family and neighbours as they had the most informal contact with me. In a classroom setting where I was ‘on’ it was not a problem. Finding the balance between being accurate (‘on’) in an informal setting, and relaxing but making errors as I’ve mentioned took a long time.

Again, I don’t think this was ever a hiring issue. I worked in teaching for almost 10 years in Canada and the later years were in subject teaching with mostly native English speakers where ESL/EFL were never issues. In any event my teaching days are behind me now, for better or worse.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jmp



Joined: 01 Dec 2004
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:08 pm    Post subject: Non-Native speakers as ESL, ELT and LINC teachers in Canada Reply with quote

I have taught at LINC schools for many years. My co-teachers have been non-native speakers and were teaching the higher levels but Literacy and Level 1 also. Students used to come to me and say that they would like to be in my class because I was a native speaker and they could not understand their non-native teachers because of their accents. Students complained to me about their teachers. They used to state that they should have a native speaker teacher because they were in Canada and needed English for employment and wanted to speak like a Canadian.Also I have been to seminars and workshops were the speakers were non-native speakers and I heard the many grammatical, pronunciation mistakes when they were talking. But hiring states diversity...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dmocha



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:05 pm    Post subject: ‘nannyism’ is not really helping the students Reply with quote

"They used to state that they should have a native speaker teacher because they were in Canada and needed English for employment and wanted to speak like a Canadian. Also I have been to seminars and workshops were the speakers were non-native speakers and I heard the many grammatical, pronunciation mistakes when they were talking. But hiring states diversity..."

jmp--This is something I heard a lot too. And as I said, I wouldn't be too happy learning Chinese, for example, from a non-native speaker who didn't have a very good grasp of all four language skills--especially pronunciation!

The specific ESL programme I was referring to in starting this thread has ZERO native English speakers. This takes the discussion beyond language teaching into a political realm that may be lost on the students. “You don’t know it now but it’s good for you to know that your efforts at English are good in and of them selves and we’re going to disabuse you of your ‘received’ notion that sounding like a native English speaker is a worthwhile goal.” Meanwhile the students are focussed on getting their English up to a standard where they can get and keep a job! For the most part, newcomers to Canada are trying to get into the economy and make a living. They are not much interested in any form of political correctness.

Feminist views on how language learners should be exposed to Canadian culture limit the students opportunities to move, quite literally, ‘up the food chain’ in the Canadian economy. Maslow would probably peg most newcomers to Canada, especially those enrolled in LINC, as being at or near the ‘survival’ stage. Meanwhile the Wonderbread, educational policy making/managerial class is trying to force ‘self-actualization’ down the students’ throats. There are few males in that class.

This ‘nannyism’ is not really helping the students during this phase of their ‘new Canadian’ experience.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Symphany



Joined: 10 Aug 2006
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:27 pm    Post subject: Feminist dreams Reply with quote

Quote:
Feminist views on how language learners should be exposed to Canadian culture limit the students opportunities to move, quite literally, ‘up the food chain’ in the Canadian economy.


I would like to know how anti-native speaker sentiment in the classroom now becomes a "Feminist" issue? And all feminists somehow get together in one room and agree? Are we trying to say we should have an old boys network now that is uncomfortable for women and female students? What particular feminist view are we talking about here? Posts have suddenly gone from relevant to very offensive.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
cassava



Joined: 24 Feb 2007
Posts: 164

PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Feminist dreams Reply with quote

Symphany wrote:
Posts have suddenly gone from relevant to very offensive.


Symphany:

This trend is by no means surprising in the current forum. Often, a perfectly innocuous topic is under discussion when a clash of personal views takes place. Sometimes, an unpleasant tone then becomes quite intrusive with the result that the topic is quickly closed by the moderator.

Anyhow , let us return to the subject at hand. I think that Dmocha's initial statement is reflective of a kind of cultural dismay that many Canadians experience when they return home after long stints overseas. I am not in the ESL/EFL business, so my comments might be of limited relevance. Nevertheless, Canadian teachers are often amazed at the discrepancies between certain conditions which existed in Canada when they left and the unexpected realities which they are forced to confront on their return.

The point is that circumstances change rapidly and in a variety of ways. The returning Canadian teacher is often seen as a foreigner by hiring committees because he has been away for so long. He will be viewed as ignorant of recent changes in curriculum, out of touch with Ministry of Education regulations, and unable to cope with the new dynamics of the contemporary situation.

Therefore, in my view, the issue is not one of prejudice against native-speaking teachers of English. Rather, it is the perception of the returning Canadian teacher which, not surprisingly, has become somewhat askew. I do not intend that last statement in any disrespectful way because I experienced a similar kind of situation some time ago.

When I finished grad school, I worked for a while in intelligence with CSIS (The Canadian Security Intelligence Service). I was posted in the Middle East. After a few years, that job was completed and I returned to Canada and was fortunate to secure a faculty position at a university in the Toronto area. I worked there for a few years, then was recruited by CIDA (The Canadian International Development Agency) to work on a joint project with the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Higher Education. I accepted that offer only on condition that I would be able to return to my job in Canada when that project was finished.

The point I want to make is that after two moderately long periods in the Middle East, I suffered a kind of cultural disarticulation and alarm when I returned to Canada. I had to quickly adjust to, and endure all kinds of new developments, many of which I did not particularly like. If I had then been obliged to undertake a job search in order to survive, that entire situation would have been too much for me.

In sum, I can sympathize with the returning tefler. I still believe that, unless one is absolutely desperate, overseas jobs are best left for the post-early retirement stage of one's life. That is only my personal view. Some teachers might not mind undergoing retraining or simply embracing a period of enforced idleness. The choice is theirs.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Symphany



Joined: 10 Aug 2006
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cassava, I agree with alot of what you're saying. There is a degree of reverse culture shock and viewing your "home" culture through new lenses when you return, however I don't see how "feminism", which is really a very broad reaching world-view is -- negatively involved in ESL environments. I didn't see it as that deeply entrenched, however I might be wrong, and if so I would like to know how "feminism" is involved. I actually think there is some anti-native speaker bias in TESOL, at least theoretically speaking, although I don't know how much it is there in practice. I disagree however that EFL is only for the semi-retired. Teaching abroad is one of the best experiences I've ever had, and I would look forward to doing so again. Not to say that its not without its troubles, but I think its worthwhile.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
cassava



Joined: 24 Feb 2007
Posts: 164

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Symphany:

I did not address the question of anti-native speaker bias in TESOl because I am not involved in the ESL/EFL field. Any opinion I expressed would therefore be little more than speculation.

However, I suspect that the issue of feminism in ESL/EFL arose because of the wide latitude that some teachers enjoy in teaching such courses. Teachers generally play to their interests and strengths, and I really don't see anything wrong with that as long as their presentations are fair and some balance is maintained.

As far as the question of overseas work is concerned (not necessarily teaching), I was merely expressing, as I stated, my personal view. I believe that any plans for overseas work have to be carefully structured so that they fit neatly into your total career objectives. For example, do you try to get Canadian non-residency status or not? There are all kinds of issues to consider here. Also, how long should you stay abroad, as long as possible or for a set period? In addition, what should you do about your contribution to your CPP and OAS?

You also have to consider what kind of job to do when you return home to Canada. It is often not easy to simply pick up the pieces of your last job in Canada. For many Canadians returning from overseas, the scenario which follows their return becomes a nightmare. All kinds of unanticipated situations leap out at them. What about marital status? If you are single, foot loose and fancy free, you might have less to worry about than a couple with kids. I suppose the best situation would be one where both husband and wife obtain good jobs abroad and return to Canada where both find good employment.

I have not looked at any academic studies on this matter, but anecdotal evidence tends to show that the marriage undergoes all kinds of stresses and strains during the period abroad and and the period back home. You can probably visualize some of the domestic problems that could arise because of a wide range of factors having to do with employment.

I think that age, gender, marital status, level of flexibility, socio-economic expectations and level of education and training are all factors to be considered in deciding whether or not to work overseas. For some people, it's the only job they can get, so they have little choice but to seize the opportunity. For others who gave up a job in Canada for the "overseas adventure", only to discover that the green grass on the other side of the fence was artificial, the decision was an awful mistake. I think that careful planning is the key to success in this kind of venture.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12689
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear cassava,

"However, I suspect that the issue of feminism in ESL/EFL arose because of the wide latitude that some teachers enjoy in teaching such courses."

Does "such courses" refer to ESL/EFL? If so, it would seem to contradict this previous statement:

". . . I am not involved in the ESL/EFL field. Any opinion I expressed would therefore be little more than speculation."

Also, I'm confused about the connection you seem to be making between the issue of feminism arising and the wide latitude that some teachers enjoy. Could you clarify that for me? Sorry if I'm overlooking the obvious.

Regards,
John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
cassava



Joined: 24 Feb 2007
Posts: 164

PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Johnslat:

As I said, I was merely speculating on the question of feminism in ESL programs. I do know, however, that in Ontario, Canada, there are all kinds of ESL courses. Some are geared to students at the elementary level, others to high school students, students at community colleges, refugee students, etc.

My comments in the previous post were largely based on information that I have gleaned from volunteer work that I have been doing for some years. My volunteerism includes membership in groups such as the Municipal Library Board, the Committee Against Racism, and the Council for the Protection of Refugees. In those roles, I have had to deal with the question of the education of New Canadians. The organization and the delivery of education programs are usually handled by volunteer instructors who have to teach a wide range of subjects. (The days of government grants are quickly disappearing).

I do know that our volunteer teachers are allowed a wide latitude in developing courses in English, French, maths, science, civics, etc. until students have reached a level where they can be passed on to the relevant branch of the Ontario education system. I am also aware that a special effort is made to help immigrant and refugee women who are coming from areas of the world where they have suffered sexual oppression. This is done, I believe, through a feminist perspective which assists them in comprehending their rights in Canadian society.

I don't know if you remember the famous book, "Pedagogy of the Oppressed", by the Brazilian sociologist , Paulo Freire. It was written a couple decades ago, but is still highly regarded among our volunteer teachers and serves as a model for some of them.

My volunteer work is tiring, but quite rewarding. It is also far removed from my everyday job in the "ivory tower" where I indulge in various forms of arcane research.

I do hope that my response has helped to answer your question.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9486
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
do know that our volunteer teachers are allowed a wide latitude in developing courses in English, French, maths, science, civics, etc. until students have reached a level where they can be passed on to the relevant branch of the Ontario education system. I am also aware that a special effort is made to help immigrant and refugee women who are coming from areas of the world where they have suffered sexual oppression. This is done, I believe, through a feminist perspective which assists them in comprehending their rights in Canadian society.



I've been involved in both university-sponsored and private language school English education in Canada over a three-year period, and am familiar with the LINC programme, which casava seems to be basing his/her opinions on (this is the one widespread programme which I know of that employs large numbers of volunteer teachers).

Yes, volunteer teachers have wide latitude in terms of content and approach - but I believe the majority of courses available for immigrants in Canada (and I have some experience even in Ontario:-)) are staffed by trained, paid teachers who are indeed required to teach within established frameworks. I don't think there is 'wide latitude' or tolerance for a teacher whose approach in the classroom is heavily biased in any way, whether towards a perceived 'good' or not.

There are standards in the vast majority of courses.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Symphany



Joined: 10 Aug 2006
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
There are standards in the vast majority of courses


Spiral, I don't believe that what the previous poster was alluding to was a "pet project" of the teacher's. I honestly think, coming from a social science background that every approach of ESL/EFL, comes from some sort of framework, and the more traditional frameworks are seen as practical and anything new is automatically seen as radical, I suppose that is to be expected.

However, in the TESL program that I studied in, had, a particular socio-political leaning at base, which tends to see feminism as positive as opposed to negative, and comes from an egalitarian point of view, as opposed to "pull yourself up by your own bootstraps" liberalism, to be quite broad in trying to describe it. It seemed to at the same time be fighting the traditional view that language teaching is and only is the teaching of grammar and should anything else creep in this is only to be allowed to a limited extent. It also tends to try to bring in its own apologetic tendencies towards English imperialism, which is to praise the non-native speaker and to overlook, lets say, the native speaker.

There is some sort of framework at work in the philosophy of teaching in TESL courses and in organizing bodies, and to say that a teacher has views that are likely to permeate into his or her classroom does not mean necessarily that he or she has no standards, but is likely teaching from a more modern as opposed to traditional framework. Some of the posters seem to be against the more modern framework, and they have a right to their opinions, however, it would be nice if they would state what those opinions are, rather than leaving the rest of us to guess at them.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12689
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This raises what seems to me to be an interesting point: how much should a teacher's personal views affect her/his approach to teaching ESL?

I know that although I "try" to remain "neutral" (well most of the time, anyway) my own opinions about politics, current events/issues, etc. can and do manifest themselves (which sounds better than saying I do it) in the classroom.

Of course it's OK in MY case because, being "liberal" MY views are clearly CORECT Very Happy.

But what about all those "conservative" teachers out there?

Regards,
John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General North America Forum All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Page 2 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC