Why Chinese Children drop out of English ClassesFor anyone who has taught English as a second language, the problem of turn over, or drop-outs, is a never ending battle. There are many reasons for this which include, scheduling problems, learning problems, differences in ability, teaching styles, and the most difficult one to deal with, parents. I continually have problems with parents who for some reason or other think they know how their children should be educated. Perhaps they have a unexplainable faith in the Chinese system of learning, rote learning, or they site inability to understand, or sometimes it is just overbearing individuals who must enforce their will on all around them. These are the worst type. I told one of my classes that had a mother like this that I was not going to let anyone dictate to me how to teach. Logically this should be easily understood. They come to me as an expert, which has been certified by the authorities, but then they want me to be more like the Chinese teachers. "They don't understand you". Well yes, at first they don't understand much but neglecting the oral side of learning and the listening means they will never be able to have a conversation, other than one that is read from a book. It's such a simple concept, language first and foremost is spoken. The majority of high school and even college graduates cannot have a meaningful conversation beyond "where are you from" and "can you speak Chinese". For those people that have a chance to travel to a English speaking world, this becomes painfully obvious as they are not able to talk to anyone, even after studying over a decade. Many schools cater to the wishes of the parents, reasoning that it is a good business practice. This is a fatal flaw in thinking. There is no reasoning with this sort of person. It's just the wrong thing to do. Stick to your guns. You are the expert. There will be drop-outs no matter what you do, so just conduct your classes in the way that will foster all of the skills needed to become fluent. You really can't teach English by teaching it in Chinese! This has been proven beyond a doubt by the vast majority of students who study for ten years and cannot understand a basic conversation or speak about anything beyond the mundane.
If you are a good teacher, you will receive excellent word of mouth advertising. Of course, this may just fill your bosses pockets with cash or if you're smart and willing to make teaching a full time job for yourself it will fill your own pockets. Fortunately, good teaching will be reflected in the marks that your students receive in their schools, if your grammar lessons are effective. Unfortunately, speaking is not yet tested, but that is changing as the Chinese testing system begins to realize it is just as important as being a good test taker.
worldtour aka Larry Rhoe