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Losing interest in creating interest
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Kimmy



Joined: 24 Feb 2008
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And furthermore.....this approach works for Snolly because it's a real teacher in a real school situation. End of story once more. Cheers
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snollygoster



Joined: 04 Jun 2009
Posts: 478

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:52 am    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

Thanks Kimmy- I guess you must know me.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 763

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 9:00 am    Post subject: YIKES Reply with quote

Quote:
As I've written several times in the past, people can create any persona they want on here. "I did this, I say, that, blah blah blah." It is disingenuous to make things up, or exaggerate, thereby causing others to think that they can emulate what they've read here. When in fact it's bs, and if they try to do it they'll get into trouble.


Certainly there is some bs here, and everywhere online. Seems to me that intelligent readers should be able to see the logic of a post and learn something from it. If the logic seems faulty, then the reader should move on, though he may also learn something about the writer. If a reader has concluded it is all a waste of time to be on this site, then he should just stop contributing or reading the site at all. Pretty simple, huh? I have been on here a long time now, have learned a lot, have made a few contributions and have also been able to figure out when a post/poster was just a waste of time. In my opinion, the site has a lot of value to people about to come as well as people already here. I feel the biggest problem at this time is the reluctance of some very intelligent people to post (CThomas, are you out there?) who find their excellent advice denigrated by folks who somehow feel it pumps their own glorious selves up. What a shame.

By the way, I think the one other thing we could/should do of value would be to always just grab the best previous thread that related to our issue, unless it was a new and unique situation. Most of this is more or less the same stuff with a few new features. For folks who cannot get search to work (like myself, I sometimes have trouble with that), it is nice to be able to look at all the previous info posted along with the new take on it.

In that spirit, I may be revving up the old motorbike thread here soon, as we have some news in that department.
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Kimmy



Joined: 24 Feb 2008
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With respect may I just point out that I don't know you Snolly, however I do feel I know that you are a real teacher just by simply reading about what you revealed in your post. Taking control in the classroom and not allowing students, admin/ management undermine or underestimate ones ability to teach is admirable.
The local teachers are highly regarded and admired in this society. Students would dare not ask a teacher to use a different teaching method or change a lesson plan for the sake of self satisfaction. So why should a foreign teacher have to put up with nonsense from students?
A professional ESL teacher will always be able to present a helpful, interesting lesson to learners. Self created lessons or lessons from books are not too difficult to prepare. However, when an awkward situation arises for a teacher in reference to learners carrying on about 'we should do this or we should do that' , then Snolly's short drama lesson of pointing to the door , in my opinion, should be applied. Come on folks......it's about mere respect for the teacher.

Now....moving on.Excuse my bluntness because I am going to be very direct here. There is an ongoing speaking and listening slump amongst learners of the English language throughout Vietnam. Speaking and listening skills are extremely weak. Personally, I wouldn't touch those grammar books with a ten foot pole. These learners are confused enough about English as it is and let alone having to work out ' who, you, me my, your , he, ' ,,,,,,to infinity

Listening,,,,,Speaking..... Repitiition.....teacher facilitation, fun activities,,,,games......music......movies.....with a bit of kindness, works.

Well, it does seem to work for me. CHEERS.
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vabeckele



Joined: 19 Nov 2010
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:59 pm    Post subject: Interesting posts and positions Reply with quote

I like Snolly's attitude - if you are not ready to walk out the door on principle, your students, staff, and whoever else is hanging around can smell the bluff and will feed off of it: this is Vietnam.

I would take Kimmy's approach too - I could be wrong but I'm guessing that these students have had enough grammar to last them a lifetime. Only if I'm teaching academic English or lecturing will I need delve into that into more detail.

General English should be fun and creative, and though I readily appreciate the communicative ESL course books I use, I just have this itch to give students projects that will allow plenty of room for mistakes. I like an assignment that encourages creativity, organisation and the presentation of these in a, somewhat, coherent manner. At least by going through this process the brain should be a little more engaged? Just to be clear: these assignments are done in groups. It is also here that questions of grammar will arise within a communicative context, far more beneficial.

Yes, at beginner and elementary levels at lot more structure needs to be in place; that's where the course books really come into their own. To go on; if you keep group role plays, games, projects, themes etc... clear and simple, which is admittedly a lot more difficult at these levels, sometimes amazing things happen. I fail quite a bit here myself and end up dejected most times, but it is on those rare occasions when a normally shy and quite student suddenly becomes animated, that I know I have done something of use; perhaps not an earth shattering moment for most of you, but for me it's enough.
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 313

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The attitude of learners in fee paying schools can be an issue. They feel they are 'customers' and therefore allowed to complain and agitate for the teacher to do what they ask.

We on the other hand get tired of being asked to do the wrong thing or to 'entertain'.

In the end - they are the 'learners' and must learn. It is 90% what they do in and out of class. As teachers we are there to remove obstacles and direct their efforts - NOT TO DO THE WORK FOR THEM. Now - in many countries and Vietnam is one of the worst, we have a certain level of students who have everything done for them from the moment they are born. In the UK private tutors and extra lessons are for those struggling to get by in school - normal students would be ashamed to need extra help. Not in Asia - it is normal and anyone who can afford to get extra help does.

I only teach small kids and like to start from scratch, before the bad habits have been learned. If you are teaching adults or teenagers then you have to put up with a high ratio of problem students.

Best way to deal with complaints is to listen carefully then carry on regardless (unless there is some merit in the complaints which can happen).
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inhanoi



Joined: 22 Oct 2011
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find this "my way or the highway" attitude to be quite disturbing. And it also smacks of intimidation, shaming the student with a challenge in front of the entire class. It also assumes that the students are never right, teacher knows best. That is how Vietnamese schools are run. We are supposed to be offering something better, and encouraging free speech.

If a teacher has so many complaints that he must develop a strategy to deal with them, and then use that strategy over a five year period, then I'd say the odds are that there is some validity to some of the complaints.

Also, if I were a school manager and heard that a teacher was intimidating students who raised objections to what is being down in class, disciplinary action would be taken. As attacher, if I heard about this, I'd report it to management.
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Kimmy



Joined: 24 Feb 2008
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally agree with Skarper. From day one, children sleep in the same room as their parents. This is normal for the Vietnamese. Children tend to be both spoon and bottle fed right up to early primary school. So this direction of dependency on parents and family seems to become a way of life.
I believe it does affect the learning abilities of many individuals here. Furthermore, as Skarper mentioned, problem students. The wealthy prefer to send their children abroad not only for furthering their education, but also to give them the opportunity to become independent.
Teachers do have a tedious job of trying to encourage and inspire young learners here. It's not an easy task.
Inhanoi. You do not know what kind of situations other teachers are facing. We are not at war here. We are simply giving each other support. .....get real......CHEERS.
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vabeckele



Joined: 19 Nov 2010
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:14 am    Post subject: Discipline Reply with quote

I personally have adopted a long forgotten technique developed, and still in use today, by the Malaysians.

It really is quite simple; all you need is a rack (to tie your student to), a wet rattan cane, of about 2 meters long, and someone to expose the buttocks.

Depending on the extremity of the 'crime', perhaps a minor infraction, say using 'will' for the first conditional, will only amount to a four stroke penalty. Anything, and I mean anything that questions my authority in the classroom, means, the full whack...pun intended....AND... yes, this is done in front of the whole school, not just the class.

The only problem I have encountered with this is a loss of payment in course fees for approx 3 months... while the scars heal.
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vabeckele



Joined: 19 Nov 2010
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:31 am    Post subject: Breast feeding until teenage years Reply with quote

It's a good point you both make - I have seen and witnessed a 10 year old female child reach and be given, the teat of the titty on multiple occasions.
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inhanoi



Joined: 22 Oct 2011
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, kimmy, we are giving each other support. I'm simply stating another viewpoint so that the dozens of newcomers who read these posts do not get the idea that intimidating their students is the best option. That is giving support.
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Kimmy



Joined: 24 Feb 2008
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I appreciate your viewpoint Inhanoi. There are rare situations in the classroom where an egotistic learner will challenge and seek attention. Moreover, it really does depend on the class dynamic as to how the teacher is going to deal with an issue.

When there is a certain time frame for presenting a lesson, then some form of discipline needs to be exerted, particularly for young learners. Otherwise, unneccesay interruptions are too time consuming.

Frankly, confrontations about teaching do occur though and it is very frustrating to have to deal with learners or management who have no idea what kind of teaching is beneficiall. I truly feel for those who do an honest days work of teaching but are disheartened by the negative feedback.

A lot of us are caught up in 'the system' . Are there solutions? Of course there are.....I suppose we just have to find our own solutions to each problem that we face......just as the locals seem to have to do. CHEERS
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 313

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While accepting what inhanoi says about 'bullying' teachers we don't usually encounter this in EFL. People who are drawn to EFL, especially if they get through a CELTA or equivalent, are not bossy domineering types - on the whole.

The balance is usually the reverse - bossy domineering and downright idle students who refuse to be learners and want the teacher to do it their way.

Like I say - you listen to the students. If possible you explain why your way is the way you chose and why their suggestion won't work so well.

Often - students complain about pair work, group work, peer correction and many of the other staples of EFL work, and ask for more Teacher Talking Time or - 'can we just chat to you instead of working'. Another gripe I have is asking for extended teacher explanations of every student question - when in EFL we nearly always refer questions back to the class. I've had students say " I don't want to learn new vocabulary" - !!

So - don't picture an EFL teacher as some cartoonlike caricature of a bossy teacher. Mostly, they are struggling to implement basic EFL methodology in a hostile or at best unsupportive environment.

The better schools in Vietnam at least know what ought to be done - given they often offer CELTA courses themselves. Delivery is patchy of course, but that is the nature of EFL in Asia and elsewhere.
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snollygoster



Joined: 04 Jun 2009
Posts: 478

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:47 pm    Post subject: Bullying? Reply with quote

I hardly think suggesting to uncooperative students and their parents that they have the option to NOT attend classes could be considered as bullying or intimidation. In hanoi-maybe you should report me and my bullying tactics to the boogie man or whoever you like. To date my schools have appreciated the fact I expect their students to achieve. I recall schools where rules were very strictly imposed on Viet students, and the fees were higher than usual.
For every student in that school, there was a waiting list of 3 ready to take the place of any erring student who was "expelled". This proves that parents and other stake holders value the imposition of a strict policy towards student behaviour.

Having high expectations is not bullying or intimidation, it is ensuring money invested in the student is a productive investment. Teachers who deliver less are cheating the students and the parents.

Personally I try to deliver an above average service, and those who don't want it are not being forced to accept their own selfish low horizons as part of my teaching. By the way, I have more business than I can handle, so it seems my "bullying" and "intimidation" is in demand. I will stick with what pays me a better than average income thanks.
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Oh My God



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 268

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Bullying? Reply with quote

snollygoster wrote:
Personally I try to deliver an above average service, and those who don't want it are not being forced to accept their own selfish low horizons as part of my teaching. By the way, I have more business than I can handle, so it seems my "bullying" and "intimidation" is in demand. I will stick with what pays me a better than average income thanks.


Are you back in Vietnam now?
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