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To the interest of those teaching in Oman
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FarGone



Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

& your not staying your contract in Saudi had to do with...? Razz

(Let us not speculate on that which we do not know.)
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12023
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, guys and gals,

How about a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T? Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

Respectfully,
John
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Expat101



Joined: 09 May 2012
Posts: 108

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FarGone wrote:
Expat101 wrote:
'students must be taught respect for native-speakers'
Great idea, but I'm not sure that this can be taught. And let's face it, most of the world is highly xenophobic, racist, sexist and nationalistic.


Of course it can (one doesn't mean slavish obedience; simply, awareness and general respect). Most Westerners have to learn the rules for living in Middle Eastern/Islamic nations, and must adjust to the norms. Folk in my classroom will [and do] learn quickly and behave decently.

Respect means different things to different people. In some countries, slavish obedience is primarily the only respect students are taught. Such students are not encouraged to show a difference of opinion to that of the teacher or majority of other students.

I think you may be talking about cultural sensitivity. It's true that very few students are ever taught much of anything about the real culture of how westerners interact and expect to be treated, especially as teachers. So from day one, it's really important to explain to the students exactly what you expect from them and be strict about your rules. If you have rules and you consistently adhere to them, I find the students will generally respect you more.

On the other hand, if you have students who generally don't want to be in the class and they are too lazy to care about the subject, you'll have a much harder time earning their respect. It's really bad when you get large numbers of rude and immature students like this who come to class late every day and refuse to fully participate, speak in nothing but their L1 and cheat on every paper! Combine that with xenophobic attitudes, nationalism, sexism, racism, and the superficiality of teens (e.g. appearances, age) and it's a constant test of your endurance as a serious teacher.

A lot of people talked about how teachers can earn their students' respect and that's generally true of some students, but certainly not all. While you may be an excellent teacher with plenty of experience, many students don't care. What they care most about is their grade! In their mind, your job is to entertain them and give them a grade because that's what they are paying you for. The Western notion that education is not bought, but earned has not caught on in the rest of the world. We can oftentimes forget this as teachers and misunderstand our students.
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FarGone



Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had very few disciplinary issues within the classroom, in either Saudi (military base, lots of backing by CO) or Oman (rinky-dink for-profit "university," with no backing by Director...the students in my classes were OK, generally) and only once in 11 years in South Korea (a graduate student who I had to toss out of class and fail, due to in-class threats; he was tossed out of the university and the program).

My teaching style is well communicated and is consistent. (The fundamental "theory" of "having to earn a student's respect," however, is not one to be entertained seriously. A piano teacher doesn't "have to earn the respect" of a student who is learning the fundamentals--it's drill time, young'uns: Time to pay attention and practice. Same-same in an English-speaking classroom. Learn the notes; get better at 'em; then learn chords; then we can try for something that resembles music.)
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posh



Joined: 22 Oct 2010
Posts: 430

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Saudi I often think 'what these guys really need is a good dose of Buddhism' and at least a semester's worth of how to be honest.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12023
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear FarGone,

So, you (and every other "native speaker" of English) both deserves and gets automatic respect when first walking into any classroom in the Middle East.

Now THAT'S a claim that is "not to be entertained seriously." Very Happy

Regards,
John
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FarGone



Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Dear FarGone,

So, you (and every other "native speaker" of English) both deserves and gets automatic respect when first walking into any classroom in the Middle East.

Now THAT'S a claim that is "not to be entertained seriously." Very Happy

Regards,
John


Don't troll, now. Razz

Any English-speaking native in Oman who is simultaneously competent in the teaching of his/her language and who has held, as proof, many years of ESL experience abroad is, yes, deserving of automatic respect from students.

"Going in there" and "auditioning" "for respect" of the young/dumb/extremely ill-traveled & inexperienced Omanis would be quite the joke.
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balqis



Joined: 30 Jul 2006
Posts: 154

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A point very well made, FarGone, re ''earning respect'' inane nonsense.

Current education is truly corrupted by those who believe in ''earning respect'' anti-pedagogy, and they these days set the tone, well not tone but cacophony.

balqis
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FarGone



Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

posh wrote:
In Saudi I often think 'what these guys really need is a good dose of Buddhism' and at least a semester's worth of how to be honest.


Cool
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FarGone



Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

balqis wrote:
A point very well made, FarGone, re ''earning respect'' inane nonsense.

Current education is truly corrupted by those who believe in ''earning respect'' anti-pedagogy, and they these days set the tone, well not tone but cacophony.

balqis


These “universities” and “colleges” in Oman are essentially privately-held/jointly-held businesses, operating with the wishes of His Majesty. (And then the extreme for-profit purveyors of humans into these networks [“the recruiters”]), and you know you have a problem. (And I am an ardent capitalist and went to a private university for my Master’s degree...but I didn’t try to bluff or bully my way into a grade AT THE UNIVERSITY LEVEL, fer fu***sake. >: - (

Don’t coddle them. Such is the worst that you can do. (A good teacher will emerge again, I don't sweat it.)
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12023
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear FarGone,

Far from "trolling." I am simply saying what you've written. If you disagree, please tell me how my post differs from your position.

You say that "respect" isn't "earned" that it should be "automatic" for any native speaking EFL teacher in the Middle East.

I say that's not only wrong, it's also a fantasy.

Regards,
John


Last edited by johnslat on Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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balancedsentiments



Joined: 03 Jul 2012
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:42 pm    Post subject: Yes and no Reply with quote

Globetrotter's resignation email struck a chord with most of the teachers in lots of ways. We went through a lot of the same crap and the email has resulted in some changes. However, I would like to disagree with it in other ways.

I don't think there's an issue of native vs non-native speakers. I think it's more a matter of competent or not. There are truly excellent non-natives who I happily work with, with full confidence that we are on the same wave-length. On the other hand, there have been native-speakers who clearly needed to be sacked. Immediately and for any number of reasons. They were given an unbelievable amount f leeway.
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Expat101



Joined: 09 May 2012
Posts: 108

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

posh wrote:
In Saudi I often think 'what these guys really need is a good dose of Buddhism' and at least a semester's worth of how to be honest.

Rolling Eyes Buddhism and honesty don't belong in the same sentence. And what has this got to do with Oman anyway? With as many 'teachers' running around the world using fake credentials, this may be a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

For the people demanding respect, this is just imperialism raising its ugly head well into the new millennium. Isn't it time to put aside the ego once and for all?! Looking back on my school days, there's nothing I hated more than to sit in a class with an egotistical instructor who obviously couldn't care less about us.

If you think so highly of Buddhism, don't you think it's time to get out of the Middle East and work in a Buddhist country full of oh so honest people? Rolling Eyes
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FarGone



Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Dear FarGone,

Far from "trolling." I am simply saying what you've written. If you disagree, please tell me how my post differs from your position.

You say that "respect" isn't "earned" that it should be "automatic" for any native speaking EFL teacher in the Middle East.

I say that's not only wrong, it's also a fantasy.

Regards,
John


John: pls reread the "piano teacher" post, then tell me what about it you don't agree with.

And perhaps the Middle East (aside from civilized places, like Abu Dhabi and Dubai) do not need native-English speakers at the rudimentary levels. Indians/Filipinos will do just fine. It's not like we (native-speakers) are teaching "culture and society" courses; it's largely grammar/vocabulary/essential practical phrases/asking directions, et al. Non-natives are cheaper to hire; a lot of them take a lot of crap that native-speakers won't tolerate; so, ok. Advanced-level instruction (and that of true university--anything accredited with persons seeking to travel abroad and/or to do business with English-speaking customers) should be performed only by a native-speaker.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12023
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear FarGone,

I think everyone will admit that not every EFL teacher (in the Middle East or anywhere else) is "simultaneously competent in the teaching of his/her language and who has held, as proof, many years of ESL experience abroad is, yes, deserving of automatic respect from students. "

Actually, I even disagree with part of that quote, the part that claims that "many years of EFL experience abroad" automatically mean that a teacher is "competent in the teaching of his/her language."

You, in fact, wrote this," 18 years (six at universities in the US; the rest abroad). [I've encountered a lot of joker-teachers; I said that I am not among them.]"

Yes, there ARE "joker" EFL teachers, and some of them have "many years of EFL experience abroad."

The students whose classroom you walk into on Day One have almost certainly had some/many teachers before you. It's unlikely that all of those teachers were uniformly excellent. A few may have even been "jokers."

Why should any adult student, EFL or otherwise, have any attitude towards a new teacher other than "neutral?" Experience has surely shown that student that some teachers are indeed wonderful but others are "jokers."
And, of course, that student has no way of knowing on Day One which kind of teacher you may be.

As a student, I would NEVER give "automatic respect" to any teacher; I've seen and even had some truly dreadful ones. My attitude would be a common-sensical one: neutral.

I would wait to discover: Are you a joker or are you worthy of my respect.

Regards,
John
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