tomthorne wrote:I would get out of the mindset that you are going to be teaching English literature to enthralled and enthralling students who can't wait to devour the literary greats. This could lead to immense disappointment on your part. Approach the lessons as much bigger buxiban classes with slightly older kids, and you'll be more satisfied. Most of the unis will run reading classes, but not with the level of student engagement you seem to be looking for .
Check. I dunno how typical this is but I can perhaps give you an idea of how it works here.
A few years ago the school decreed that Freshman English class external reading, which is as close as we get to "literature" should be worth 25% of the assessment. This was a response to the complaint that, at 15%, they didn't bother to read it.
I pointed out that, at 25%, they STILL wouldn't bother to read it, so we'd have a choice between failing over half of them, or faking it. The response was the usual smoke-and-mirrors reality-defying bullshit.
Taiwanese teachers would NEVER fake it, and we could and should fail over half of them, "if they deserved it".
I dunno what Taiwanese teachers do, but I understand they don't fail very many. I fake it, and I still fail about 20-25%, nearly all on the external reading component.
Faking it, for me, involves 3 piss-easy open-book tests a semester backed up by a movie-of-the-book, and I drop the lowest score. They don't bring the book to the open-book tests, and they sleep through the movie.
EDIT: That's as accomodating as I'm prepared to be at the moment, but, judging by the teeth-sucking when I hand in my grades (24% failure rate this year) if the slide continues I'll have to start "adjusting" the pass-rate in future, if there is a future. This is widely practiced, and I've been given a few vague-to-incomprehensible descriptions of "statistical techniques" in use by Taiwanese teachers.
Once you start that, of course, if you set multiple choice questions they can/will actually answer, any amount of monkeys can pass, and I'll bet they do.
Simian Success is a Sure Sign of Silliness
I gather that another Taiwanese teacher solution is to assess ER as a homework "essay". I tried that and I got a very limited selection of cloned/cut and pasted answers, endlessly repeated, warts and all, but if you ignored that, it might work, especially as the assessment will be subjective.
For the last couple of years I've ("illegally") used the Penguin Graded Reader version of The Godfather, with the film. I used to use About a Boy which worked quite well, but it went out of print, and would be stretched rather thinly over two semesters at 25%. Penguin Readers have been dropped off the approved list by the school for reasons unknown, and I'm supposed to change to an Oxford Bookworm Classic, which I don't like and will ignore for as long as possible.