Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Teaching Challenges in China

This is Cody. Cody enjoys dancing and was able to travel to Singapore and perform with her dance group. Parents in China devote a lot of time and resources into the child. It is very structured and they don't have much free time. Cody attends with her cousin Linda and skipped part of one book but she is keeping up with the class. Many students want to work in higher level books, there are many reasons, schedule, friends, parents desires. One problem you may run into when teaching oral English is the impact or sometimes lack of impact on the students scores in the Chinese schools. Since this education focuses on reading writing and grammar, your oral classes may or may not raise the students English scores. With good students who are speaking well the grammar usually takes care of itself. However, you do get some parents whose express purpose is to raise the scores in the Chinese system, even though this system spits out millions of students who can not speak more than a few sentences and possess poor listening skills if any. So there is a bit of a problem there, if you concentrate too much on the grammar, they speak less, but the parent may be happier. If you can balance it then everyone is probably somewhat pleased.

It's a matter of wearing two hats for me. As the teacher, I want them to be able to speak and have a decent conversation with someone, but as the school owner I must try to get the school scores up to please the parents. Since the system is not going to change any time soon, that means more grammar. I've started implementing the testing from the books which gives me and the parent some idea as to where their child ranks in my class. Having some that score in the 90 percentile helps show the parents it works. It does go somewhat against the grain for me though, as I prefer a more improvised setting around a defined structure,(the book). I have steered away from too much testing as it gobbles up time in class, and they have so many things to study for it just seems like overload. This sort of cross purposes is prevalent in most schools. The other dynamic you get is, it's a business! So some times sales are more important than verified results. Well, it beats working in the factory.

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Larry Rhoe aka worldtour


At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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You have a very rich and unique perspective.

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At 12:04 PM, Blogger worldtour said...

HI, I would be pleased to write something for your fine website. I will et back to you as soon as I return from my long awaited holiday. I enjoy the writing.



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