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Give and take in China
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Joined: 06 Feb 2004
Posts: 5880
Location: Suzhou, China

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was in a store the other day and a nice young Chinese man was helping me. His English was fairly excellent, especially considering it's not his native tongue. "Your English is very good," I told him.

"Thanks," he replied, "I watch a lot of American television."

"What's your favorite show?" I inquired.

"Raising Hope," he said.


(For those that don't know this show - - and I don't follow it myself - - it's a situation comedy filled with "redneck" characters with lots of slang and homey charm.)

Maybe we aren't even needed here. Just sit the kids in front of some sitcoms (remember how popular "Friends" was in its day?) for a few hours each week and they're good to go!
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Joined: 19 Aug 2012
Posts: 910
Location: Guangzhou

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Denim-Maniac wrote:
I get the impression you just want to argue Joe. Not the first time Ive had that feeling.
Not the first time off topic, sentimentally analytical, and addressing the messenger. Arenít we debating the topic?

The improvement in education that my employer and his private training centre leads to is in increased choice and opportunity for the language learner. You and many others are quick to take potshots at the Chinese system in general which would suggest the general opinion is that it may fail many students. Training centres offer a different take on language instruction, flexiblity in terms of training, and an increased opportunity to interact with native speakers.
Letís not muddle and generalize so much here. This isnít about attacking any system but discussing the Give and Take and following up on what we say on the thread. Below are words on which I have followed later as evidence of a poor improvement in the system only
my Chinese boss has often said the reason he started his training centre was because he was aware that English education in high school and university did little to prepare students for the actual purpose of using English for meaningful communication
These arenít my words.
Now, if we are to debate the Give and Take in public schools vs private language training centers, then letís try in a civilized manner and without any deviations. Private centers truly are adjustable to their paying customers that come and go and those businesses most certainly provide locals with chances to practice what they have learnt; however, I do not really think that they are so significant in the Chinese educational system.

As I suggested before ... I believe that it is probably easier now to find Chinese nationals who speak English, than it would have been in the 1990s (the period you mentioned earlier). Is that because of an improvement in state schooling? I dont think so, that probably hasnt changed much. Access to English and English language instruction has changed ... and so my 'clear view on the local industry' is that the private sector (driven mainly be Chinese nationals) has made improvements.
From what Iíve heard, training centers have done better before. They were more foreign managed and less under the control of the locals and their authorities. The ďEnglish language instructionĒ has been more influenced by the local professionals than before. Perhaps, the Give and Take is easier now since the better looking FTs have more limited roles there. But how many FTs Give and Take in the private centers and how many in the public sector and how about the uncomparable numbers of students from either?

Agree .. some members of the EFL community are reliable. I dont think its very many though. And less so in China probably. I think it would be a falsehood, and an inflated sense of ego, self-importance and delusion to think that EFL in China is driven by the humble teacher.

I think Id be hard pushed to find a post Ive made here that suggests remaining in a comfort zone and back pedalling though. I am and have always been a strong advocate of further teacher training and education.
Here, in our conclusion, we somehow share similar views on some members of the EFL community. Perhaps, there arenít enough of them because of the suggested Give and Take trend.
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