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Another 'China-related' forum?
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Would a 'China teaching/class management' forum be of interest?
I would find such a forum of interest
28%
 28%  [ 6 ]
I would not find such a forum of interest
57%
 57%  [ 12 ]
I'm undecided, but it could be useful
14%
 14%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 21

Author Message
Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2317
Location: China

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:49 am    Post subject: Another 'China-related' forum? Reply with quote

Looking at posts on this 'Job-related' China forum, I'm wondering if a subdivision is needed.
I'm proposing a 'China-related Teaching and Class Management' forum to run alongside the two existing forums.
This would leave 'Job-related' to cater for job search, visa and contract-related stuff. The new forum would take the load on questions about discipline, time management, assessment, resources etc.
Got an opinion? Please answer the poll and/or leave a comment.
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doogsville



Joined: 17 Nov 2011
Posts: 572
Location: China

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great idea! I was thinking about this recently myself and wondering which of the existing two forums would be more appropriate for teaching related posts. Also, before anyone points out there are other places on this and other boards for sharing teaching ideas, I would point out that a lot of them don't take into account the 'uniqueness' of the Chinese education system and the difficulties it presents.

The traditional method of teaching in China is for the teacher to present the material and for the students to memorise it. Most of us are using communicative language techniques which involve presenting the material and encouraging the students to understand it, absorb it and think about how to use it, then to practice using it. Our approach often confuses students in my experience, since they just don't know how to make the switch from one to the other. Any and all ideas that people have tried and found to work would be very welcome!

There's also the thorny topic of textbooks, which are often out of date and culturally irrelevant, but in some cases they are compulsory since someone in the school hierarchy chose them and decided they are a good thing. I teach a lot of business English to both business and translation majors but the books I use tend to assume that the students are already in work and so they are full of exercises that ask students to think about how they would use the language in their current jobs. Not very useful for people who have spent the last sixteen to twenty years in full time education and have never worked.

Classroom management is also something that I would be interested in. How do you manage a class of sixty low level students, most of whom are bored, tired and don't want to be there and give them all an opportunity to leave the class knowing something useful they didn't know when they arrived?
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roadwalker



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 1422
Location: Ch

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good idea. My first thought was, "No. We don't need anymore forums to clutter up the board." Then the wheels turned a little and I read the reasoning behind it and it made sense. And I agree with all of the reasons doogsville stated.
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muffintop



Joined: 07 Jan 2013
Posts: 803

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah to all above
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Simon in Suzhou



Joined: 09 Aug 2011
Posts: 227
Location: GZ

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Load of questions?" There is what, 1 new post per day on the job-related forum? I don't think another forum is necessary.
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FreakingTea



Joined: 09 Jan 2013
Posts: 160

PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm always excited by the idea of new forums and things, but I think in this case it would make it more difficult for people to search for teaching-related topics. They'd have to do a search for both forums, and it might not even occur to a newbie to do so. The posts are consolidated here already. I don't think the job-related forum is active enough to warrant dividing traffic. I am sad that I am against it.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2317
Location: China

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simon in Suzhou wrote:
"Load of questions?" There is what, 1 new post per day on the job-related forum? I don't think another forum is necessary.

My meaning is pretty clear. We're talking about the message traffic on 'Dave's China Job Related' not 'China Love Links' or whatever your norm is. Dave's is what it is.
Can the site provide a better service to FTs by splitting out teaching stuff?
It may be 20% or less now, but as China Job Related is the biggest country forum, that 20% is a sizeable number of views and posts.
I believe it will grow as FTs realise that they can go direct to a serious discussion and not wade through endless repetitions of 'can I teach on an L visa' and suchlike. Hopefully it would remain more or less troll and flame free although site seems to have less of those recently.
Longterm FTs have two ways of improving their lot in China.
One is to improve what is delivered in class, so students see the FT experience as +ve and demand more like that.
The second is to turn down any job offer that doesn't meet a minimum standard.
My suggestion aims to address the first.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2317
Location: China

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FreakingTea wrote:
I'm always excited by the idea of new forums and things, but I think in this case it would make it more difficult for people to search for teaching-related topics. They'd have to do a search for both forums, and it might not even occur to a newbie to do so. The posts are consolidated here already. I don't think the job-related forum is active enough to warrant dividing traffic. I am sad that I am against it.


I feel that the subject matter on a 'China Teaching' forum would be more removed from 'Job Related' than 'Off Topic' is from 'Job Related'.
There are enough corrective posts telling people to put something on the right forum, so there is any amount of self policing going on.
Finally if a newbie cant tell the difference between:
'China Job Related'
'China Off-topic'
and
China Teaching and Learning'
Then I wonder if this industry is going to provide the career opportunities they crave.
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3210

PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it were used as intended it might be good, but I don't think it would change things much.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2317
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johntpartee wrote:
If it were used as intended it might be good, but I don't think it would change things much.


'used as intended'.
Couldn't you make that observation about all of the forums?
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Bud Powell



Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 887

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool as long as we know the experience of those who participate.
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Javelin of Radiance



Joined: 01 Jul 2009
Posts: 1092
Location: The West

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Used as intended" probably means discussion of things related to what happens in a classroom. I think a more teaching focused forum is a good idea, but since there are almost no teaching related questions on this China job forum I sort of agree with johnparteee, it wouldn't change anything much. The first page of this forum currently has exactly two (2!) threads out of 43 dedicated to what goes on in a classroom. We might as well rename this the "Can you check this 20 page contract for me" or the "I've applied at Monkey Business Training School, has anyone ever heard of it" forum. Sure there are legitimate teaching related questions on here from time to time but not too often and they get drowned out by all the other mundane questions that get asked week after week.

There are other forums on this site that deal with real teaching issues but judging by the usernames over there I'm guessing few here ever visit, or even know they exist.

http://forums.eslcafe.com/teacher/

These forums cover any kind of teaching you're likely to come across, but none are specific to countries, which is what I think is being proposed here. They require separate registration, and annoyingly, even if you just meander on over for a look without registering or signing in, you automatically get signed out of here and have to sign back in when you return to the China forum. Maybe a better idea is for this site to undergo a serious re-org, like putting all forums together on one page and under one single registration. As it stands you need one registration to visit the international forums, another one for the Korea forums, and a third one for the Teacher forums.
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3210

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
'used as intended'.
Couldn't you make that observation about all of the forums?


Yeah. So we'd have one more to add to the confusion.
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Non Sequitur



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 2317
Location: China

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Javelin of Radiance wrote:
"Used as intended" probably means discussion of things related to what happens in a classroom. I think a more teaching focused forum is a good idea, but since there are almost no teaching related questions on this China job forum I sort of agree with johnparteee, it wouldn't change anything much. The first page of this forum currently has exactly two (2!) threads out of 43 dedicated to what goes on in a classroom. We might as well rename this the "Can you check this 20 page contract for me" or the "I've applied at Monkey Business Training School, has anyone ever heard of it" forum. Sure there are legitimate teaching related questions on here from time to time but not too often and they get drowned out by all the other mundane questions that get asked week after week.

There are other forums on this site that deal with real teaching issues but judging by the usernames over there I'm guessing few here ever visit, or even know they exist.

http://forums.eslcafe.com/teacher/

These forums cover any kind of teaching you're likely to come across, but none are specific to countries, which is what I think is being proposed here. They require separate registration, and annoyingly, even if you just meander on over for a look without registering or signing in, you automatically get signed out of here and have to sign back in when you return to the China forum. Maybe a better idea is for this site to undergo a serious re-org, like putting all forums together on one page and under one single registration. As it stands you need one registration to visit the international forums, another one for the Korea forums, and a third one for the Teacher forums.


I've mentioned above that such a forum would generate its own traffic.
I feel the 'teacher' forum doesn't address the unique issues that occur in China which unfortunately include under-prepared teachers.
That said the 2-year experience requirement will tidy that up over time.
I share some of the log in concerns but that's for the MOD to take up.
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mw182006



Joined: 10 Dec 2012
Posts: 241

PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Undecided, but while you're at it, can you ask them to clean up the stickies and announcements that are 6-7 years old? Yeesh!
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