Bad teachers

For general discussion between teachers - or use one of the forums below for more specific topics.

Moderator: Susan

Bad teachers

Unread postby max_bt » 18 Mar 2009, 00:30

I am currently doing a degree in teaching English as a second language in Québec and I would like to know what you guys think about our profession as English teachers. First off, here is the context. I am not a native speaker and most people in my degree are not. Even though we are quite advanced learners some people still make major mistakes, especially when it comes to oral English. It seems that the test that the university makes you take before entering the programme has a few flaws. For once, it does not evaluate oral skills at all for financial issues.
Back on the main topic, most students would benefit a lot from studying abroad in an English speaking community to improve their English and become better teachers in the future. However, a lot people seem reluctant to such exchange. Money should not even be an issue since my university offers loans and basically pay for your trip to go study abroad.

It seems like people do not have the will to improve and are content with what they have. IN my opinion, it is exactly the kind of attitude a teacher should not have because it goes against the concept of learning and teaching. As a teacher, one is suppose to want to surpass himself and be as good as he can. This post is more like a rant than a question but here is my question: Did you ever have to work with people who had no ambition or will to improve, and if so, how do you feel about that?
max_bt
Registered Member
 
Posts: 5
Joined: 13 Mar 2009, 00:05

Re: Bad teachers

Unread postby systematic » 18 Mar 2009, 05:47

max_bt wrote:I am currently doing a degree in teaching English as a second language in Québec and I would like to know what you guys think about our profession as English teachers. First off, here is the context. I am not a native speaker and most people in my degree are not.

There are many non-native speakes in TEFL jobs, especially Germans and Dutch who have an excellent command of English. English is very present in Canada and it would be hard to escape its influence. I see no problems.
max_bt wrote:It seems that the test that the university makes you take before entering the programme has a few flaws. For once, it does not evaluate oral skills at all for financial issues.

In most universities, students enter at a level where they can use methods to improve their conversational skills and pronunciation. Most universities also have language labs and modern, technical peripherals for linguistics.
max_bt wrote:...most students would benefit a lot from studying abroad in an English speaking community to improve their English and become better teachers in the future. However, a lot people seem reluctant to such exchange. Money should not even be an issue since my university offers loans and basically pay for your trip to go study abroad.

The vast majority of TEFL teachers work in developing countries where the need is greatest, particularly in Asia. The people in those countries neither have the personal financial means nor government support to travel abroad. Those that can and do are are very few and come from elite, wealthy families. Less than 0.1 % of all local teachers teaching English in those countries have never been outside their own country - not even over the border to a neighbouring country.
max_bt wrote:Did you ever have to work with people who had no ambition or will to improve, and if so, how do you feel about that?

Yes. I offer them them a choice of two options: Join a teacher development workshop, or leave. At peer level most teachers are probably not aware of, or even concerned with their colleagues' performance.
I offer any information or advice 'as is' and hope that it has been of help. I am not an admin of this board, and my postings do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the board management.
____________________
Thailand TESOL forum
systematic
Teacher
 
Posts: 528
Joined: 21 Apr 2008, 13:38
Location: UK, France, & Thailand
Status: Other

Re: Bad teachers

Unread postby Alex Case » 26 Mar 2009, 11:08

"Less than 0.1 % of all local teachers teaching English in those countries have never been outside their own country - not even over the border to a neighbouring country."

I think Systematic means "less than 0.1% of all local teachers... have..." rather than "have not"- simple typing error, I would guess

I'm more interested in

"The vast majority of TEFL teachers work in developing countries where the need is greatest, particularly in Asia."

I've got no data on this at all, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were at least as many native speaker TEFL teachers (I guess that's what you mean) in Japan as China, given the differences in disposable income at that virtually all secondary schools have at least one native speaker ALT
Alex Case
Teacher Trainer
 
Posts: 547
Joined: 17 Aug 2007, 02:53
Location: Tokyo
Status: Teacher

Re: Bad teachers

Unread postby systematic » 26 Mar 2009, 12:22

Well, I guess if you include the whole of Asia and well paid places like Japan, Taiwan, and S.Korea, you may be right right about the vast majority not being in developing countries

BTW: Thank's for pointing out the typo - it should of course of read 'ever'.
Last edited by systematic on 26 Mar 2009, 12:45, edited 1 time in total.
I offer any information or advice 'as is' and hope that it has been of help. I am not an admin of this board, and my postings do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the board management.
____________________
Thailand TESOL forum
systematic
Teacher
 
Posts: 528
Joined: 21 Apr 2008, 13:38
Location: UK, France, & Thailand
Status: Other

Re: Bad teachers

Unread postby Alex Case » 26 Mar 2009, 12:41

That's my point entirely. I very much doubt whether even a majority of TEFL teachers are in developing countries in Asia, as you seemed to be saying
Alex Case
Teacher Trainer
 
Posts: 547
Joined: 17 Aug 2007, 02:53
Location: Tokyo
Status: Teacher

Re: Bad teachers

Unread postby systematic » 26 Mar 2009, 12:47

I stand corrected Alex, but your Internet connection is faster than mine ;) see my edit above.
However, back on topic, the point I was illustrating was that in developing countries, the vast majority of local teachers of English haven't been abroad, and the students that have are even fewer in number.
max_bt wrote:Back on the main topic, most students would benefit a lot from studying abroad in an English speaking community to improve their English and become better teachers in the future. However, a lot people seem reluctant to such exchange. Money should not even be an issue since my university offers loans and basically pay for your trip to go study abroad.

I would therefore assume (subject of course to official statistics) that irrespective of the density of native speaker TEFL teachers in wealthy countries, the number of people learning English worldwide is top heavy on the side of the families with little disposable income - and that it is not necessarily restricted to developing countries. Canadian organisations may be generous in their study-abroad grants, but I would be inclined to doubt that these offers are so gracious in all countries - which leaves me wondering on what statistics the OP bases his assumption.
However, I think I have answered his questions.
I offer any information or advice 'as is' and hope that it has been of help. I am not an admin of this board, and my postings do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the board management.
____________________
Thailand TESOL forum
systematic
Teacher
 
Posts: 528
Joined: 21 Apr 2008, 13:38
Location: UK, France, & Thailand
Status: Other

Re: Bad teachers

Unread postby SunShine » 28 Apr 2009, 16:20

systematic, I'd be interested to know why you think the Dutch and Germans speak very good English? Have you ever lived in either country?

Can't say too much about the Germans, except somebody once said to me (and the same goes for a Dutch person) "Can I see the back side of your Euro coin" meaning "Can I see the flip side". They appear to translate literally from their own language. I'm currently living in the Netherlands (more's the pity but that is a subject for a different forum) and am surprised at their lack of good English. They appear to speak it but you have to be careful as what you say has to be very basic, otherwise it's lost in translation and they misinterpret it and get upset because they think you have insulted them.

Phrasal verbs and colloqualisms are out. Words have to be simple.
SunShine
Gold Member
 
Posts: 32
Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 18:55

Re: Bad teachers

Unread postby systematic » 28 Apr 2009, 16:44

Hi SunShine,

When referring to the Germans and the Dutch, I was naturally referring to those whose English is of an acceptable standard for completing a TESOL certification course and teaching English. The ones I have worked with are excellent teachers and in some cases better than the native speakers who consider themselves to have a natural talent for teaching English.

I have lived in the Netherlands for one year, and I lived in Germany for about 18 years.

The 'back' side of a coin is, IMO, a perfectly acceptable expression, although more formally we would probably call it the 'reverse' or the 'reverse side' as in
The reverse of the coin shows its monetary value.
and
The monetary value is shown on the reverse side of the coin.

The expression the flip side is a colloquialism that originates from the familiar term for the B-side of a vinyl record.
I offer any information or advice 'as is' and hope that it has been of help. I am not an admin of this board, and my postings do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the board management.
____________________
Thailand TESOL forum
systematic
Teacher
 
Posts: 528
Joined: 21 Apr 2008, 13:38
Location: UK, France, & Thailand
Status: Other


Return to General Teacher Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 8 guests