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The students are the boss.

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Re: The students are the boss.

Postby Omniloquacious » 23 Jul 2012, 22:40

Whole Lotta Lotta wrote:One thing you have to realize at many Buxibans in Taiwan is that you are not really a teacher. You are a Customer Service Representative.


For many of the students you’re just someone to gawp at, purvey a few giggles, and perhaps transmit some words of English, to while away otherwise empty time in a barren, constricted, tedium-laden, semi-somnambulistic life.
If I prioritized the acquisition of wealth above other purposes in life, I might still have come to Taiwan to study Chinese, but I doubt I would have remained here.
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Re: The students are the boss.

Postby TaiwanVisitor12321 » 23 Jul 2012, 23:47

Omniloquacious wrote:
Whole Lotta Lotta wrote:One thing you have to realize at many Buxibans in Taiwan is that you are not really a teacher. You are a Customer Service Representative.


For many of the students you’re just someone to gawp at, purvey a few giggles, and perhaps transmit some words of English, to while away otherwise empty time in a barren, constricted, tedium-laden, semi-somnambulistic life.


I get that, but wouldn't they like to say something to me while they do that instead of just sitting there nervously the whole time? It doesn't look like much fun. Learn nothing, do nothing... Why go? I mean what is going on in their mind when they sign up for these classes? They enjoy flushing their money down the toilet? SOME of my students are kids that were pushed by parents to attend, so I get their attitude, but not the adults and businessmen.
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Re: The students are the boss.

Postby Omniloquacious » 24 Jul 2012, 07:53

TaiwanVisitor12321 wrote:I get that, but wouldn't they like to say something to me while they do that instead of just sitting there nervously the whole time? It doesn't look like much fun. Learn nothing, do nothing... Why go?


What’s the alternative? Go home and sit in front of the telly, listening to mum’s nagging, gran’s carping, and dad’s farting? Or sit by themselves in that tiny, depressing room they’re renting and try to think of something to post on Facebook that they didn’t already post during the day at work? Or go back to the scowling, complaining wife and noisy, squabbling kids, to mull over for the millionth time how their life could have come to this?

It’s something different, it gives them some kind of companionship, it kills time, and they might even pick up a bit of the English that everyone tells them they need to be learning.
If I prioritized the acquisition of wealth above other purposes in life, I might still have come to Taiwan to study Chinese, but I doubt I would have remained here.
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Re: The students are the boss.

Postby Charlie Jack » 24 Jul 2012, 13:42

I've only taught a couple of adults since I've been here, and those were brief episodes. I'm pretty much in the dark about teaching adults here.

I taught adults in Korea, though, and a fair proportion of them were taking English classes because they more or less had to. Some were there because their boss ordered them to take English, some were there because they needed it directly or indirectly (maybe a certain minimum TOEIC score, or score on other tests?) for promotion, and some attended company classes given in house. I even taught for a little while at a school for prospective local-level civil servants.

Do those kinds of situations exist here? I've never been clear on that. I did teach one person here who needed a certain score on a company test in order to qualify for an overseas assignment, but other than that, I don't remember ever hearing or reading anything about it.

I should mention that, of the adults I taught in Korea, I have no idea what percent were compelled or "quasi-compelled" to take English. And a lot of the adults I taught in Korea were taking English lessons for other reasons, most likely including the reasons Omni mentioned.
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Re: The students are the boss.

Postby FarFlungScot » 30 Jul 2012, 07:37

TaiwanVisitor12321 wrote:"Shortly after this exchange a regular student showed up, and I just did the class with him and ignored all the other weirdos. The regular invited them to share his book and take part in the class but they told him they wanted to "practice listening", which is code for "I'm too scared to do anything because my mommy isn't here". Keep in mind, these are businessmen.



Dont you think it might be to do with "face" and saving face. If I was learning a new language I would find it a bit intimidating having to launch into a discussion straight off the bat. Perhaps they will start talking after they have listened for a while. I suggest an interesting discussion (which you'll probably have with the regulars) and then at some point you could ask the ones who don't talk what they think about it. If they dont answer dont press them on it, just move on quickly. But anyway do these a few times each class and i reckon the silent ones will eventually start talking.

I mean they have had a hard day at work..last thing they want is to more hard work at class, they maybe just want an easy going lesson where they can learn at their pace

It could be worse, the whole class could be giving you the silent treatment :)
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The students are the boss.

Postby headhonchoII » 30 Jul 2012, 07:49

I taught English many aeons ago at Davids. Some classes were like pulling teeth. Most people here are too boring and live too boring lives to make the class lively. There , I said it, but it's the truth.

They want you to do it for them, and then they will interact by staring at their human TV.
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Re: The students are the boss.

Postby Dougster » 31 Jul 2012, 00:39

Well, it's so easy to blame the students (adult ones) for crap classes. Yes, some of them can be boring and just want to be taught, different levels, expections, but it is down to the teacher to make it work in the initial classes, rapport building, fun lessons, etc. It's not that difficult, surely. Once they trust you, it's plain sailing.
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Re: The students are the boss.

Postby TaiwanVisitor12321 » 31 Jul 2012, 17:14

FarFlungScot wrote:
TaiwanVisitor12321 wrote:"Shortly after this exchange a regular student showed up, and I just did the class with him and ignored all the other weirdos. The regular invited them to share his book and take part in the class but they told him they wanted to "practice listening", which is code for "I'm too scared to do anything because my mommy isn't here". Keep in mind, these are businessmen.



Dont you think it might be to do with "face" and saving face.


Well, I probably don't understand "face" well enough, since it just looks like a big cop-out to me.

I'd lose all of my pride though when I demonstrate to the whole class my inability to do... anything.

Here it seems like answering a question is shameful, but not answering is fine and dandy. I don't quite get that. Showing as a whole that they suck is better than actually trying, making a few mistakes, and improving.

I sometimes make fun of people that don't want to read hard words (only if I have a good rapport with that person), but always praise them for TRYING. I make my attitude pretty clear... being silent is for losers, and if you make mistakes I'll respect you a lot.

I don't think they CARE if I respect them though, so it's kind of a moot point. They're too worried about everyone else.
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Re: The students are the boss.

Postby Whole Lotta Lotta » 01 Aug 2012, 19:16

Dougster wrote:Well, it's so easy to blame the students (adult ones) for crap classes. Yes, some of them can be boring and just want to be taught, different levels, expections, but it is down to the teacher to make it work in the initial classes, rapport building, fun lessons, etc. It's not that difficult, surely. Once they trust you, it's plain sailing.

So the adult student has absolutely no responsibility for how well they learn :ponder: :no-no: ? I didn't do well in many classes in high school. It must have been all the teachers' fault :roll: .
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Re: The students are the boss.

Postby tomthorne » 01 Aug 2012, 20:56

1. Blaming the students never leads to any positive improvements in the classroom. How could it?
2. If you are looking for high levels of learner autonomy Taiwan is not the place to teach.

The teacher has to deal with this. That's what he or she is paid for.
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