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Where are the laziest students?
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Sunpower



Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 256
Location: Taipei, TAIWAN

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I can relate.

One of the part time jobs I have here in Taipei is working in very small chain vocation school that prepares people for careers in the airline industry (as the airlines loose more money, yes, the classes have gotten smaller!).

The text books is crap. It, no doubt, was written by Chinese who have tried to cut corners by not paying a native English speaker to edit or proof read it. It is a text book for the Interview Skills course at this school:
Quote:

Q: In what kind of working environments did you feel you had the moost influence?

A: From past working experience, sometimes I get the feeling that it is not easy being a supervisor or a boss. So I think sometimes as employess we must understand the difficulties that a boss has to meet.

Great stuff, eh? Aha, haa, haa!! The question and the answer don't even match!

Quote:

Q: What would you do if somebody insults your country and citizens or if your colleagues or passengers have racial discrimination, how would you handle this kind of situations?

A: If the words damages my country's image I will do proper and reasonable explanation. Otherwise, I will do my job well to enhance the service quaity."


Quote:

Q: If there is a passenger who lost his baording card, what would you do?

A: I will sent him to the ground staff, and ask them to check his departure flight and reissue him another boarding card."


Quote:

Q: If a passenger wants to take a fork as a souvenir, how would you deal with it?

A: I will tell the passenger politely that the fork is a company inventory control item. We have to check it clearly and that's why we could not give to the passengers. But I can offer him or her another souvenir of our company.

Anyways, the text book the school has sold to dozens of students goes on and on like this.

I've had to sort of re-write and re-think a lot of the answers and questions in the book.

It's appalling that they'd being selling this to students, who don't seem to know or, if they do, don't want to complain. Maybe a bit of both.
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some waygug-in



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 339

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2003 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I brought this up because an earlier poster in this thread (I think in page 1) said that he thought that grammar should be taught by local teachers with foreign teachers teaching mainly conversation.
While I understand his reasons for saying this, many foreign "teachers" don't have a sniff about English grammar or how to teach it, I also can see the results of having locals teach all the grammar.

You get such wonderful things as: "Here is where we have to take off the train." Or "I like buying a head of watermellon."

These are mild compaired to some of the things that I have seen in texbooks.

I've had students come up to me and say things like,"That sentence is wrong, "I" is always followed by 'm in an English sentence."

I think grammar should be taught together with conversation so that the patterns learned are read, spoken, heard and then written. But I can't change the "system", it is what it is. Korean students don't trust foreigners to teach grammar and so the system perpetuates itself.

Worse than this is the fact that private schools cater too much to the students opinions about class content and teaching styles. So what you end up with is a bunch of entertainers with little being taught.

This thread was about lazy students. So just to keep on that topic, I think some of the laziest students I ever met were Koreans. Sure, they spend 12 -14 hours a day in school, but I would guess that maybe 5 - 10% of that time is actually spent in productive studying.

Adults are worse. They assume that they have already learned all there is to know about English grammar, so when a teacher tries to give them an exercise to work on, they just ignore it. Or worse yet, they complain to the management,"My class is bored, Teacher not talking, too many grammar."

Anyway, I've ranted enough. Embarassed
Have a great day.
Cheers Smile
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Roger



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 9138

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2003 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again, some waygug-in pointed the finger to a raw spot. Pity no one else sees it, or wants to see it.
If our local colleagues had the teaching know-how that's required of English teachers in many other parts of the world, then there would be fewer jobs for us.
Ideally, we would work as teacher trainers and kindergarten teachers, but hardly as conversation "teachers" at primary, middle and secondary schools. Trying to entertain our learners AND raise their standards is almost like putting a square peg into a round hole. Add to this the sheer number of students in any class, and you can see how little this subject is being taken seriously by anybody!

But running "English Corners" and "English Salons" is so fashionable that even CP-run media enterprises have jumped on the bandwagon.
The GUANGZHOU DAILY, for instance, advertises for its English classes as well as for its English Salon activities to which the public have to pay an admission while expats are 'invited' in as 'guests' to their regular salons - as solo entertainers. In their advert it says
"The first five guests are free to offer beers there..."
(Dunno where to put the sic! in this quote, perhaps it requires a couple of them).
Besides, the paper also offers translation services, promising:
"Guaranteed Quality: The center strictly treat (sic) every copy of document to be translated, and possesses many translation reviewers and foreign exports (sic),which (sic) can carry out the (sic) professional review and proofreading."
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richard ame



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 319
Location: Republic of Turkey

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2003 7:23 am    Post subject: Lazy students/ the G word Reply with quote

Hi waygun,whatever

Yes it was me from page one,my how this thread has grown page 5 already anyway lazy students aside for a nanosec, this grammar thing I don't agree that local teachers are unsuited to teach grammar, in my experience they are the better proponents of it ,they seem to me more able to explain the structures to the students using the mother tongue,however ,where it falls down is when there is little or no native speaker input or support,in an ideal situation the native speaker reinforces the grammar with language activities ( not games) that relate to the structures already learnt so that what has being taught can be practised on a more practical level .Thats how its worked for me ,I believe that grammar or language teachers working in ısolation can only do half the job .
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itslatedoors



Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2003 8:42 am    Post subject: Scot 47 is right Reply with quote

Scot 47 is absolutely right about the negative effects the Middle East has on your teaching.Planning lessons goes out the window when your course aims,students and timetables change on a daily basis.50% of your time will be spent telling people to stop interrupting, playing with their phones and speaking arabic.Add to that a situation where you are not allowed to exclude disruptive students from your class and an environment in which you can be fired at any time for literally anything and hey, who gives a ****?Take the money and run..............because believe you me, there will come a day when you need that cash. Your bosses won't support you as they've given up a long time before you...!!
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Roger



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 9138

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2003 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Richard Amer,
I wonder if you have learnt a second tongue, using English as a medium of instruction! Le passe parfait in English? Casus ablativus instrumentalis in English? Those who need their L 1 to study the grammar of an L 2 usually fail - see America's botched foreign-language scene, and particularly China's and Japan's English scene!
I utterly disagree with you over whether my Chinese collegues are capable of delivering on this score! While they may succeed in putting every explanation in pure CHinese, they can't explain the why and how. FOr them, grammar is a set of dead rules. They may on occasion have a passive grasp of what's at issue, but there is no active intuition and knowledge. When they use English it is in the same haphazard and random way as their own students! And often enough, they don't understand standard English.

The very mistake of this English teaching is to use a foreign (that is, the Chinese) language to explain what is intrinsically-English - grammar, syntax. This is a major departure from a tradition that is still in use elsewhere in the world. My teacher never explained French, Italian or German using English!
Incidentally, this local teaching style makes students over-dependent on their teachers. They don't learn to make an effort at overcoming communication problems on their own. Typically, their textbooks don't trust their users' ability to read a single sentence in English either - everything is translated! That's helpful for the Chinese teacher who does not know the difference between 'safe" and 'safety', or 'interested' and 'interesting'.
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some waygug-in



Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Posts: 339

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2003 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to be contentious, but the problem with having locals teach all the grammar comes when they (the teachers) don't really understand the structure or the meaning themselves.
I agree with using the student's native tongue for very basic things at begginer levels. But here (Korea) the local teachers never make the students speak English. They (the students) simply sit and wait for the Korean translation and explanation. Thus the students are not really learning anything, they are just pretending.
I could see this changing if the Korean and foreign teachers worked together to reinforce language patterns and structures, but this seldom happens. More often than not, the Korean teachers are teaching things that are totally unrelated to what the foreigners are doing. Using different books, (bilingual) with different target language, different patterns etc. This just leaves the students overloaded and really learning very little.
Anyway, like I said before, it is what it is. I can't change the system. I can only do the best I can with the situation I'm in.
Embarassed

Cheers
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itslatedoors



Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2003 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply to the original ? Reply with quote

A common greeting when entering a classroom here is ',break teacher,break.'The laziest students in the world live in a region crammed between Egypt,the Indian Ocean,Iran and Turkey,part of which has just had the shit bombed out of it.Starter for ten.Where is this place?
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slaqdog



Joined: 29 Apr 2003
Posts: 205

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2003 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked I agree with doors the laziest students and the laziest teachres are to be found in the Gulf, but Spanish students come a close second, they think it would be a good idea if English speakers learnt a second language and it is true we are the worst /laziest language learners in the universe.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12495
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2003 11:59 am    Post subject: burnout Reply with quote

"itslatedoors" is pretty negative and I would say he is probably teaching in one of the worse places in the ME. I do not know which institution he is in, but let his posts be a warning to anyone coming to this neck of the woods. Choose your institution with care. And remember that once you are here you can't just move to another job. You are effectively indentured to one employer !
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12903
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2003 1:50 pm    Post subject: The Worst and the Brightest Reply with quote

Dear scot47,
If it's one of the worst places, it's got to be teaching the military, then. If Middle Eastern students ARE the laziest, then I feel blessed. Ours here are pretty good. Oh, there are some " lightbenders " ( my name for them, based on the fact that some planets are SO dense that light has to bend around them ), but there are some darn bright ones, too.
Regards,
John
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12495
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2003 2:19 pm    Post subject: students Reply with quote

Mine are pretty good too. Military students in the M.E. have a reputation. But then who in their right mind would come and teach for the "Merchants of Death" ?
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biffinbridge



Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 701
Location: Frank's Wild Years

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2003 8:57 am    Post subject: Merchants of death..etc Reply with quote

I used to know doors when I did a 6 monther in Qatar.Top bloke,been there ages,working for an,oil company...lovely wife.If I remember correctly,even taught Saudi military in England on some minesweeper deal wherebye the Saudi crews were trained in the UK. Maybe that's where he got his cynical trait........
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12495
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 11:25 am    Post subject: raytheon Reply with quote

Raytheon. now called SALTS, is one of the big ones in Saudi - for US citizens ONLY. Britsish Aerospace (BAe) is simlar but for British nationals.

I would sooner drive a bus for a living than teach in those outfits. Money is good, vacations are not. Ademin both local and foreign is fairly cretinous, as you would expect from the military anywhere.
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