Friday, June 15, 2007

Native English speakers as teachers?

By Tan Chong Ling

I am a chinese and I am bilingual and presently in China.

Many western teachers in China are sincerely trying their best and doing a good job in teaching English .BUT there are also many unqualified ones coming over to teach in China who do not even have proper training in teaching or a major in English or education. They may speak and use the language well but they do not know HOW TO TEACH to the Chinese people as a second language. They do not even understand what Chinese language is and how the Chinese learn their mother tongue.

If they cannot understand the vast liguistic difference and cultural difference between Chinese and English, how on earth would they be able to help the students handle the problems effectively? I think it is both a teaching experience and learning experience for the western teachers coming over to China to teach English. You have to know them, understand them, before you can teach them, right?

Are all the western teachers in China "qualified" to be English teachers? Do they really know how to teach English as a second language in China? Do they understand the Chinese?

I do not claim to know more English than you but as long as I can communicate clearly and concisely my point to anyone in English, I think I have achieved my objective of learning English as a second language . And I did not take any lessons from any Western English teacher - all my English teachers are Asian....

In fact, there is nothing so special being able to use English, it is just another international language..for us to COMMUNICATE.

1 comment:

Marina Petrovic said...

The best teachers are the ones with the ability to pass their knowledge. Everything else is less important. I have seen NNS teachers with perfect pronunciation and proficiency of NSs, but they intimidated their students and on the whole, their results were poor. On the other hand, I met quite a few NSs whose knowledge of Linguistics was more than modest, and there was even one who wasn't good at spelling, but their students had amazing results, loved their lessons and improved considerably. In the process of teaching and living in our country they learnt a lot about our customs and mentality. Their initial ignorance of our culture didn't change the fact that they were the great teachers! Both NNS and NS teachers are great for me, as long as their teaching does the trick (which has more to do with psychology, than anything else)