ironlady wrote:TaiwanVisitor12321 wrote:Being serious doesn't matter anyway, if we're serious they still don't listen to a damn thing I say. Nearly all of them still forget the s on the end of any plural word.. they all pronounce "Whoa" as "Wow", despite being corrected several times a week, they can't read contractions correctly (they ALWAYS split them up into two words.. he'll is ALWAYS HE WILL to them... who the hell taught them this way? Why would we have "he'll" if we never said it? to save space on the page?), they can't pronounce X, they can't pronounce, well, lots of things. These are just simple reading problems. Easily fixed... this isn't even touching their grammar and other assorted problems.
Do yourself and your students a favor and look into the idea of "language acquisition". Students don't simply disregard what you say. There is a progressive development of language, and things that don't exist in the native language will generally be harder to acquire (meaning, to use automatically and correctly) than things that exist in the native language. English and Chinese are two very different languages, and frankly it's easier to go from English to Chinese than the other way around, because you're adding a whole bunch of stuff that's actually redundant from the point of view of Chinese.
You have people who have had many, many years of English instruction, for better or worse. You cannot expect them to immediately just get rid of whatever habits have been formed over those years because you say something once. And I am willing to bet that like most traditional teachers, you believe you're saying something a lot, but actually it ends up being once or twice. Even "several times a week" is nothing compared to the thousands of hours of English they've had that used whatever it was wrong.
Once you realize that language acquisition is a brain thing, it will take a lot of the pressure off, and you may even be able to appreciate your students as human beings, rather than believing they're involved in some sort of conspiracy against you in the classroom.
I give them acquisition speeches all the time when they mention memorizing things, or just when I think nobody is listening to me. I don't have time for real TPRS (or more likely I just don't know how to work it in properly), but I do try to throw in as many variations/repetitions of patterns and vocabulary as I can. I chat with them at the beginning of class and tie it in to the day's topic as much as possible, or ask them questions about their life and relate it all to the material if I possibly can, but they generally just tune out and start reading other things, or looking at their schedules to see if there's a better class to go to. they don't want to take part or listen to others or hear what I say to them, or god forbid, TALK to other classmates.
I try to structure the input as much as I can. Most of the time it's not very ideal because I have too many different things to teach them each class, but if they'd listen, I'm sure they'd fix a few of these mistakes after a while... I think (and I may be wrong) that they ignore almost any valuable input around them and focus on grammar and vocab lists instead.
I had a guy the other day who got bored and pissed off because I was talking about the day's topic instead of directly going over the reading (at least that's what I assume... he never said a word the whole time he was in class, of course). The last straw though was when I dared to ASK them questions about the material, so I could put their answers up on the board and tell them useful things about them (just eliciting responses so I could write a quick list, basically, nothing very difficult). He slammed his book shut and stormed out of the room. I had another student do the same thing in another class the same day too. I really don't get what these people are after. They don't want to talk. They get mad/bored when there's any listening... They won't answer questions... Do they expect me to give a grammar lecture or something? I give them plenty of examples, but I rarely go into language rules or terms beyond telling them something is present/past/future tense.
Sometimes I give them a speech about how they paid a lot of money to go to my class, so they should probably try to get something out of it, but like anything else, they sit there like lumps. I was under the impression that they paid lots of money to have access to a native speaker so they could practice their English, but apparently my impression is completely wrong. I have a few older people that just come in to chat and kill time, and they're friendly enough. They're not even trying, and they improve faster than anyone else there. Nobody else gets that they're actually participating and listening, rather than burying themselves in dictionaries or trying to memorize tons of pointless vocabulary (instead of listening to my explanations of how to USE the vocabulary), and therefore, improving. I point this out constantly, but it doesn't seem to get through.