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To Pursue a Perfect Pronunciation

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Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 8:15 am    Post subject: To Pursue a Perfect Pronunciation Reply with quote

This story happened in my niece who was about ten years old and she went to cram school to learn English twice a week. However, it was not enough to her because her mother hoped that she can have a pure North American accent. So her mother was looking for a foreigner to be her private teacher to teach her pronunciation and conversation. When I went to her home, I found that she was listening to Studio Classroom and read aloud following the radio. I was so surprised because she was only ten year-old. Although her English pronunciation was pretty good, she was poor at Chinese and I can perceive that she did not like to take lessons after school. I found that many parents just wanted their children to learn English with a teacher whom had a fluent accent. Due to those parents so cared about the pronunciation as to forget the qualifications in teaching. I thought the quality of instruction as important as the teacher’s pronunciation, someone who had a North American accent didn’t mean he or she was a qualified teacher. Shocked
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Joined: 06 Apr 2004
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 9:15 am    Post subject: Does prononciation count that much?? Reply with quote

dear belina
You point out the flourishing situation in the Taiwanese society. Parents and the social value both prefer to the American culture, including the Engilish teachers. Parents think that the foreign teachers will always prior to the taiwanese teachers because they pronounce perfect. They are native speakers so that is quite sure that they speak it well. It is the teaching quality that counts. Not all the foreign teachers can teach English well because in their life they learn English naturally and they may not understand why student in Taiwan cannot learn English well.
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Lu Lu

Joined: 18 Apr 2004
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2004 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am a senior high school student in Taiwan, about this topic for learning English in Taiwan is very common. English is useful in our society, so many parents want their children have good English ability. Parents send their kids to an English cram school or hire a family education to beef up their English ability. A foreign family education is more popular than a Taiwanese because the parents think that they have a better tone, but they ignore their teaching skills maybe not pretty well, their teaching ways perhaps do not fit children in Taiwan, either. In my opinion, parents shouldn’t fawn on foreign powers too over; they should ask children’s thought first then choose the right one. Besides, parents shouldn’t push them so hard to learning English, they could give them more encouragements replace discouragements.
Rolling Eyes
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Joined: 18 May 2003
Posts: 1377
Location: San Francisco, California

PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2004 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I first started teaching ESL (in 1969, way back before it was widely recognized as an academic discipline in universities) school administrators thought that anyone who spoke English could teach it. If the sewing teacher lost her class, they put her in an ESL classroom, because, after all, she could speak English. Nowadays no one gets hired at our college without a Master's degree in TEFL/TESL or the equivalent. There are a lot of things that go into making a good ESL/EFL teacher. The ability to speak English is important, of course! So is the ability to motivate students, to use techniques and methods that match the situation, to make things understandable for students, and so on.
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Joined: 09 Apr 2004
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2004 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dear belina
i am also worry about the pronuciation education in taiwan! since the first time i learned english, teachers always empathsized on our writing and reading! it seems to be a traditional model of english teaching in taiwan.this kind of situation led to uncompleted language learning. there are so many children in taiwan who can only read and write very well but cannot pronuciate each word exactly. what we have to do is to improve our ability of pronuciation and listening by ourselves because the english education in taiwan still do not discover the importance of pronuciation and listening development. i wonder that how do we communicate with foreigners just through ways of "writting" and "reading"!! strange education in taiwan!! Confused
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Joined: 20 Apr 2004
Posts: 1
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2004 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've worked part time in a ESL kindergarten before. The foreign teachers that taught there, some from good universities in Canada or the States, graduated from education graduate school, and really taught very good. But some looked very unqualified. I saw one foreigner come to interview who didn't dress cleanly, looked like he hadn't changed his clothes for days. Not that I have prejudice against untidy people, but his untidiness showed his disrespect for this job. As if he could easily have the job just because he could speak English. I saw him teaching the students in the classroom, and I could tell he wasn't a qualified teacher either. I strongly disagree the phenomenon in Taiwan that foreign teachers are better than native teachers. Many foreign teachers come to Taiwan because they can earn easy money in little time. Many don't know how to teach. Is pure American accent that important? Many people who speak English may have low education, and speak bad English or very rude English which normal people don't use. A lot of people in America who didn't go to college, can't even read their newspaper! Teachers who have qualified education, though may not have good accents, can guide students to learn. But teachers who haven't gone through teaching training, very likely will not know how to let students make progress in learning. Accent isn't everything!
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Joined: 08 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2004 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote's really, Juyu522. In Taiwan, conversation courses receive so little attention in English teaching that many students are afraid of speaking English. They have been learning English for many years, but sometimes they still can’t speak the simplest English. Take me as an example, I am afraid of speak English to others even if I am an English major because I am worried about to make mistakes all the time. In fact, being able to recite the dialogue in the text doesn’t mean that we can speak it well; we can be able to say what we want to in English is most important. Embarassed
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