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Relations between native speakers and Polish colleagues.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1202
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair enough, sparks. No reason to speak English if there are only Poles speaking together.

However, as you wrote, switching to Eng if non-Polish speakers join the conversation is just common courtesy. And since staff room conversations often involve natives and Poles joining/leaving fluidly as classes start/finish, why not just speak English? I guess it all really depends on the culture of the school you work at.

At BC Warsaw there was a loosely enforced 'English Only' staff room policy. A couple times teachers complained that there was too much Polish going on. Funny thing was, one of the worst offenders was an English guy who spoke great Polish and liked to show off. I guess it was probably good for him since he got free Polish practice.
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simon_porter00



Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 505
Location: Warsaw, Poland

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You referring to me shake? You're jealous, just jealous.
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Janek



Joined: 25 Sep 2006
Posts: 79
Location: Krakow, Poland

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

xxx

Last edited by Janek on Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 629

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who was the person who complained? I think that's what bugs me about this topic. Someone actually went to administration and said "The Polish staff are speaking too much polish in the teacher's room" I think that person deserves a punch in the mouth for being such a nancy Smile
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15330

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The world of EFL - in Poland and everywhere else - is full of strange people with strange views.
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ecocks



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 899
Location: Gdansk, Poland

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Master Shake wrote:
I've only worked in schools which require a degree + CELTA so I can't say I have seen much open resentment from Polish teachers due to the fact that we (natives) are unqualified. Generally, I've found the Polish teachers helpful, though they don't always go out of their way to be friendly. They'd come to me with questions about how to pronounce a word; I'd go to them asking for activities to practice a particular language point.

The most difficult Polish teachers are the ones who insist on speaking Polish non-stop in the staff room.


I couldn't say about Poland but I saw the same thing in Ukraine and Azerbaijan. Exactly the same thing, so not a Polish problem exclusively.

Privately, I had teachers want to go to lunch for English practice, walk to the metro stations, amble into the office for a one-on-one chat and one gal planned an hour-long bus ride to sit together and talk, but almost anytime two or more got together they'd revert to native language.

Of course, that makes a certain amount of sense if they are discussing social issues but it always fascinated me that so many of them complained constantly that they could not develop their English any further.

I recall four in Azerbaijan that were conscientious about using English in the staff room. Two men seemed to do it naturally, two women had to be "taught".
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Infinite



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 235

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Relations between native speakers and Polish colleagues. Reply with quote

dragonpiwo wrote:
'There are many native speakers around but getting a good one is almost impossible.'


Sad but true. Before I had my own bizwax, I worked for ... let's just say a nice chunk of schools. The vast majority of natives I'd come across left a LOT to desire. First of all, I knew only 3 actual teachers. You know, people who studied to become a teacher. That's after working for schools which hired dozens of natives. Then there's the problem with reliability, on time performance... sobriety etc...

For a school owner, teachers are like business cards. I'd rather hire a NNS with real skills and love for work than someone who's going to treat my school as a place to make free copies for their privates and show up only when they've run out of funds for beer and drugs.

That's a sad reality of it. I asked the same questions years ago, but after living here for a while in few different places and meeting the natives... I wouldn't let many of them feed my dog.

Now I'm not saying that every native is a bad apple, but in comparison to their NNS peers... it's slim pickings if you're looking for quality.
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Infinite



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 235

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sgt Bilko wrote:


Conversation only classes are a terrible idea for low levels, especially kids/teens.


I remember one school hahaha... I was told that I'd be conducting convo lessons all day with the best students.

Imagine my surprise when upon entering the classroom, I found myself surrounded by 6 to 8 yr olds. LOL.... I immidiately called the owner and complained to which he replied - "just have fun.. enjoy yourself".
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Infinite



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 235

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iknowwhatiamtalkingabout wrote:
Seems I've been quite lucky. Never experienced any divide of that sort in the staffroom. Teachers all taught their classes. No divide between grammar and conversation, no divisions at work. People generally got on well.

Obviously, in any workplace there are people who get on and people who don't. But it was never along the lines of nationality.



I've never had problems with teachers. I've been treated less than fair by some school, which I simply dumped shortly after, but never an issue with Polish teachers. Staff rooms had always been fun. I did share classes with some teachers and I must say that I wouldn't do it again.
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Infinite



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 235

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
Look at some of the characters hired as native speakers ! Inability to speak Standard English. Semiliterate and with a very low cultural level ! If I were a Polish teacher with an MA In English Philology they would p*** me off too !

The same phenomenon was common in Bulgaria for a few years after the political upheaval of 1989. It did not take long for the Bulgarians to waken upto the undesirability of many "native speaker EFL teachers".


Sorry Scot, just got to your post. My thoughts exactly. There was a thread on the Chinese forum at some point about the weirdest teachers that people worked with.

I'm sure we could start one here and share some fun/scary/weird/creepy stories.
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Infinite



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 235

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sparks wrote:
I agree with Delph. Language is a tool for communication, why wouldn't one want to use their native tongue when they are just chatting between classes. I can't stand the haughty Poles who fake Brit. or Am. accents and get all wrapped up in the culture, becoming Anglophiles or whatever, sometimes putting down all things Polish, it's nonsense. It's fine to only speak English when someone is in the room who doesn't speak Polish, that's being polite, but if there are a group of people who all speak the language just talking to each other, sticking with English seems pointless.



Exactly... I'd also like to add that moving to a country and not even trying to pick up the language... that's a bit odd to put it mildly. Being surprised by the fact that people speak their own language, in their own country while having a conversation with their fellow citizens during a break... that takes a very special kinda special.

I've always used English in the staff room due to the presence of natives, but when it's just Poles... it's Polish all the way.

If they want to practice their English skills with a native, I could think of at least a dozen wasy without having to force it during their breaks. We're not the best thing since sliced bread as some, obviously, would like to think.
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Infinite



Joined: 05 Jan 2013
Posts: 235

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sparks wrote:
for being such a nancy Smile


I'd choose a word other than "nancy", but I do like to post on this forum now and again. Wink
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1202
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sparks wrote:
Who was the person who complained? I think that's what bugs me about this topic. Someone actually went to administration and said "The Polish staff are speaking too much polish in the teacher's room" I think that person deserves a punch in the mouth for being such a nancy Smile
Yea, it's a bit silly to complain (I didn't do it. And it wasn't Simon the person complained about BTW; his Polish is crap) but c'mon...

People were changing English conversations into Polish, even when non-Polish speakers were involved. And there was one infamous Polish teacher who refused to speak English to another Pole ever.

We expect students to speak for 90 min. in English in class, so why can't everyone do it in the staff room? Especially considering that Polish English teachers are professionals who've been hired partly because of their English proficiency.

Is it really asking that much to keep staff rooms all English?
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scottie1113



Joined: 25 Oct 2004
Posts: 375
Location: Gdansk

PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Master Shake wrote:


Is it really asking that much to keep staff rooms all English?


Yes. Why not? When I'm in the teachers room I don't mind hearing Poles speak Polish to each other. It helps me with listening comprehension. And believe it or not, we're not in Kansas anymore, Toto.
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sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 629

PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is it really asking that much to keep staff rooms all English?

Ever study a language in college? Imagine how ridiculous it would be for your German professor to only speak German while wandering around the quad. or eating lunch in the cafeteria. Walk a mile...
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