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What is the role of a native speaker?
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mokpochica



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2003 3:29 am    Post subject: Re: What is the role of a native speaker? Reply with quote

sid wrote:
Learners need 'natives' to guide not dictate

The evolution of 'global' English will challenge the way we teach. Now is the time to adapt, says David Hill

Thursday May 15, 2003
Guardian Weekly


Learner goals
If the student wants to live or study in an English-speaking country, then first-language users will provide a useful model. If the student wants to communicate internationally, optimum global intelligibility is called for. "Native-like" use may even be a disadvantage - in a multinational setting, it is the "native" who is most likely to misunderstand and to be misunderstood. Indeed, English-speaking countries may suffer irreparably if they don't start running courses in effective international communication for their own business people and academics.


Interesting article Sid. I really liked the above part about learner goals and thought it made a good point. Of course, we can't know which of our students will use English in an English-speaking country and which will use it only in Korea or Asia, but it is something to keep in mind. And I think it's always good to have teachers of English who are both native speakers and speakers of the learners first language (especially the competent ones!). Also, it would be great if there were some more teachers of English who spoke another first-language besides Korean here. Maybe we'll see more of that in the future.
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Medic



Joined: 11 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2003 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We don't teach anything. We just learn to teach, and aquire an insight into the Korean way of doing things. Many of us like to think we're teaching Korean kids something, but they learn what they want to learn. That means only a smal minority will ever learn from all of our efforts as English teachers. Some kids will appreciate their time at an institute latter in life, because they might major in something like buisness, tourist management , or English. Others will be quite content to sit in a freshman English class and smirk at the poor fool who's masquerading as an English Professor. They'll be the ones who learned enough, but don't give a damn about learning anymore, and that'll be most of them.

The Koreans who will master English will be the fortunate few who in their school days got to travel abroad on special short term programes where they actually got to live in homestays and attend local middle or highschools, or those who are so motivated that they learn in their schools on their own without any support from their incompetent English teachers. The latter really have to be commended, because they have to combat the usual negativity about English that comes from their classmates as well as their teachers.
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HardyandTiny



Joined: 03 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2003 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The role of the native speaker is to eliminate the foreigner's language.
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Medic



Joined: 11 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2003 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the post about learning enough Korean to be able to explain concepts in their own language. Students will respect ESL teachers who have this facility, and will have a different slant on English. They'll put a little more effort into learning out of shame when they realise what foreigners are having to resort to, to teach the lingua franca.

Korean English teachers in the high schools and middle schools don't get the respect from their students when they try to speak English unless they are fluent. That puts a big burden on the teachers.

The ministry of education is now sending the most qualified English teachers abroad to Canada for a month of intensive English training. 26 went from the Kyngju Pohang region I thing, or maybe it was from the Kyungpoake region . I'm not sure.
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Medic



Joined: 11 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2003 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the post about learning enough Korean to be able to explain concepts in their own language. Students will respect ESL teachers who have this facility, and will have a different slant on English. They'll put a little more effort into learning out of shame when they realise what foreigners are having to resort to, to teach the lingua franca.

Korean English teachers in the high schools and middle schools don't get the respect from their students when they try to speak English unless they are fluent. That puts a big burden on the teachers.

The ministry of education is now sending the most qualified English teachers abroad to Canada for a month of intensive English training. 26 went from the Kyngju Pohang region I think, or maybe it was from the Kyungpoake region . I'm not sure.
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the_beaver



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2003 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Medic wrote:
I agree with the post about learning enough Korean to be able to explain concepts in their own language.


This is more of a teacher approach difference than anything, but I almost never speak Korean to my students in the course of teaching. With the communicative method what you teach is of the same importance as how you teach it and it's not understanding that is of primary importance, but understanding through using English.
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Trinny



Joined: 01 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2003 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Medic wrote:
The ministry of education is now sending the most qualified English teachers abroad to Canada for a month of intensive English training. 26 went from the Kyngju Pohang region I thing, or maybe it was from the Kyungpoake region . I'm not sure.


I became a host for Korean teachers from Seoul district school board, who came to Canada under this program. I must admit that their level of English is a bit disappointing to say at least.

The teachers received one week of workshop from Canadian ESL teachers and then were paired with Canadian teachers who volunteered to take the Korean teachers in their classes for observation. After the school was over, the Korean teachers hung out with each other for drinking or shopping.

I got the impression that a) the period for international teacher training is too short for them to pick up conversant English and b) concentration of Korean teachers in one classroom keeps them from getting out of their comfort zone and practicing English on Canadians.

My suggestions for this program is: set up a program that allows teachers to stay in English speaking country for a year or longer like the Japanese Ministry of Education did. And avoid sending a group of Korean teachers to one region, where they can stick with each other.
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