funkymonkey: Nonsense. Medicine is not an exact science and there's plenty of room for misdiagnosis or bad practice. There are people who can pass medical exams, but are absolutely terrible at actually working as doctors. The reason doctors are better at what they do is twofold. Firstly, they receive much longer and more intensive training. Secondly, there are much better incentives for attracting the bright, ambitious, etc. to medicine.
Anyway, that's beside the point. There are things that are more and less effective in teaching. There are educational theories, and there is educational research to back certain things up. There's this great meme in the English speaking world that people can walk into a classroom without having had exposure to any of the research, without any training, without any coaching, without any observation, without feedback, etc. and just be a fantastic teacher just because that person is inherently a fantastic teacher. As though anyone could just do any really complicated job well simply because they're inherently fantastic. Some people can be good teachers without training, but they'd be better teachers if they went through a process. That does not imply that everyone who receives training will be a good teacher, just as training in any other profession does not imply greatness or competence either, though if the training is rigorous, it should weed out most of the bad people.
The results of this are really telling in the English speaking world. There is a complete disdain for teachers in English speaking countries, and yet people won't acknowledge that some countries, such as Finland, have such successful education systems precisely because teachers receive a lot of training and are well-regarded by the rest of society. No, of course, lots of people in English speaking countries just want to talk about how crappy teachers are, and how teacher training doesn't mean anything, when the teacher training is woefully inadequate and the incentives for bright, motivated people to enter (and remain in) teaching simply aren't there in English speaking countries. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy of idiocy. Furthermore, the people who make these kinds of comments that one doesn't need any kind of training to be a teacher are the kinds of people who would never set foot in a classroom in a school in a bad neighbourhood. They would never send their kids there either. Increasingly, the middle class won't discipline their own kids in the home, and then have the gall to complain about a lack of discipline in school (and will also complain if their little darlings are singled out for poor behaviour). It's intellectual and moral laziness of the highest order. They'll complain all day about how easy it is, or how the system is a joke, yet they won't actually do anything to address that.
What's so bizarre in Taiwan is that in the public sector, people actually do have a lot of respect for teachers, yet in the private sector, the Anglosphere's mindset seems to have taken hold. There are all sorts of flaws in the Taiwanese government education system, but you can be sure that if Taiwanese mathematics or science or history teachers at junior high school used giant squeaky hammers or sticky balls and played lots of games, the parents would be up in arms about it. Funny that.
This is really what this thread is about. Few people here would want their own kids educated in the way EFL is taught in this country. It's okay to them though because they have a vested financial interest, and besides, it's only Taiwan. Who cares if there are standards, right? There's no shortage of people on these forums complaining about how shit the Taiwanese police are, or how bad the roads/architecture/pollution/corruption/labour laws/whatever is/are, and generally complaining about how stupid Taiwanese people are or how they don't think about things, but many of the serial complainers fall quiet on the issue of education here precisely because of their huge vested interest in maintaining that. Such people are no different to the politician awarding a government contract to his buddy: corrupt to the core.
And you coming in to scold us all like some kind of sour-puss kindie assistant who favors olive cardigans and lemon drinks without sugar. -- Muzha Man
One sometimes gets the impression that the mere words "Socialism" and "Communism" draw towards them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist, sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, "Nature Cure" quack, pacifist, and feminist in England. -- George Orwell