Thursday, July 5, 2007

Student feedback

Eve Ross - Beijing Institute of Machinery, Beijing, China

My students' requests for me to change fall generally into two categories:

1) "Show us more movies, current movies, but don't make us talk about them or write about them or anything, and make sure they have Chinese subtitles", which I see as just laziness, and

2) "You need to use the [error-riddled, deadly boring] textbook more and give us lectures so we can 'get knowledge' and give us vocabulary lists so we can prepare for the [TEM4/TOEFL/etc.] and stop making us do group work", which I see as wishing I used traditional Chinese teaching methods.

Last term, I won over all but one or two of my students without changing my tactics. But I was given new classes this term who need a while to get used to foreign teaching methods, so I continue to get the above advice from my new classes. Interestingly, one of my former classes is lobbying the administration to get me to replace their current teacher of British Literature because she uses the error-riddled, deadly boring textbook (and these students can actually spot the errors now), and only gives lectures--no group work. I don't think they'd care whether I taught them had I taken their advice last term.

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