The advanced students want you to speak very quickly. They can’t understand any of it, they just want everyone else to think they can. Speaking clearly is what they need, but they find it insulting. They know other people will be impressed if they ask you to speak faster to match their clearly amazing listening skills. Give these advanced students some example sentences without putting it on the board and see if they manage to write it down correctly. If the hotshots that asked you to speak faster can do it without any mistakes, I’ll be truly amazed. Simple sentences. Nothing fancy. They’ll get the key words, but the “little words” will be garbled to hell and back, along with possibly the entire sentence structure.
These people care more about showing off to everyone else than about actually learning anything useful. They LOVE useless vocabulary that nobody else will understand and they’ll never see again in their life. There are people who memorize every synonym for vocab words despite 75% of it being useless crap in almost all situations. I mean, would you memorize thesaurus entries for every word you know? These same people couldn’t string a proper sentence together using these “high-level” words to save their life, but everyone thinks they’re great. A lot of these people in your class are “real” English teachers and the class respects what they say FAR more than what you say, despite the obvious fact that these “real” teachers clearly need your help. They won’t listen to your help, they just think by being in the room they’ll improve through… magic I guess.
They DO want you to speak for 2 hours.
They DON’T want to deal with your activities that aren’t 100% focused on the article.
They DON’T want to talk about the article. (which makes the above line all the more annoying)
They sometimes do want to make their own point about the article, but it’s not up for discussion. If you give them your opinion it will simply be ignored in favor of theirs. They just wait for you to stop talking so they can repeat what they already said.
They don’t want to practice writing or answering your questions that you’ve written on the board, and they don’t like group work. You might be catching on by now… they’re there to watch you suffer, not to participate or you know, try.
They HATE grammar. It’s hard and boring.
They LOVE you if you blather on about grammar the whole class because to them, that’s learning English. The most boring teachers tend to be the most popular. Explain grammar in Chinese and they’ll love you even more because now they don’t even have to listen in English, and that’s so convenient.
They REALLY love it if they think you made a mistake so they can quickly point it out to the whole class and make jokes about reducing your salary. They might be wrong about their perceived correct way but they found it when they translated a Chinese word in their electronic dictionary, so they’re clearly right.
You tried to talk with them. That’s just wasted time in their minds. I dislike their minds, but that’s how it is. Try telling your class that you’re teaching a conversation class and they’re expected to discuss the article. You’ll blow half their minds and they’ll ask each other in Chinese if it’s true that this is a conversation class. The management never told them that. They just said “GO TO THE FOREIGNER’S CLASS AND YOUR ENGLISH WILL BE GREAT IN NO TIME ^ ^ Oh and can you please extend your subscription for three more years? The price is more than last time and we didn’t give your teacher a raise so we’re just keeping your extra money ^ ___^”. Most of those with blown minds have gone there for months if not years. They seriously never considered that they should be speaking up in class.
Be able to give them example sentences and some idioms, finish the boring article, and chat as much as you can get away with and take interest in whatever miniscule amount of personal information you can pry out of them. Some of them will like you. Focus on them, and try to shun/ignore the annoying people as much as you can. Leave the silent people alone. You’ll give half of them a heart attack by even saying hello to them. These people might get brave and come alive down the road sometime. Don’t count on it though, and god help you if you get a class of nothing but silent people.
They’re too set in their ways to change much. You’ll change some, and they’ll love you for it, but it’s a hard fought battle that isn’t worth it most of the time. I have students that LOVE me and almost treat me like members of their family in a few cases, but these people don’t listen to a damned thing I tell them about improving their English.
Don’t get mad at them when they ignore everything you try to do for them. They’ll just lecture you about how much Taiwanese people respect teachers. They pretty much just showed you clearly that they don’t, but that’s the kind of logic you’re dealing with here.
I honestly don’t know why most of them go to class, but try to keep at least some of them happy, make friends with them, and you’ll be alright. If you try to TEACH, you’ll be driven to madness in no time.