Less teaching is what is required not more. God help Taiwan if they have any more language schools lol
As for qualified teachers no I disagree. I recommend my students to go and study at global village and find the least qualified teachers they can. I do tell them to make sure the material that they are soaking up is not too far above their level. In other words to make sure they get comprehensible input at Krashen + 1 level, which is difficult to judge but can be done. Importantly the teacher must talk talk talk at a level that is mostly comprehensible. As long as they get plenty of that and lots of communicative exercises it is all good. I do tell them to avoid grammar nazi teachers at all costs; those teachers are usually the qualified ones. Sometimes the best teachers are the ones that don’t teach much but in fact are just good at keeping the level of the class slightly higher than the student. but still comprehensible. I tell my students that they don’t really need a teacher to learn the language at all. Although the teacher can be useful for feedback and making classes more interesting and enjoyable!
The last thing these people need is more grammar. People and schools that advocate more grammar are part of the problem not the solution. There is a role for some very minimal grammar teaching that is all. God help these people if after 10 years of grammar lessons they are being subject to even more grammar lessons by foreign grammar nazis.[/quote]
You completely misunderstand my very short post. I understand your viewpoint - it’s simply a variant of what all untrained teachers say. Honestly. I’ve worked in teacher training and publishing, and we market to everybody.
Students in Taiwan cannot use English grammar (in that they do not have the ability to construct meaningful sentences and paragraphs) primarily because their L1 is Chinese. They simply have more to learn than learners of other languages do, in the same way that English speakers are going to struggle less with Spanish than Thai. They are also taught decontextualised ‘grammar’ by local teachers, and then taught by clueless foreign teachers that they ‘learn by chatting and watching movies’.
Students lap up anything ‘different’, anything easy, and anything that suggests a ‘new method’. Psychologically, it validates their early failures to engage with their study.
Teachers make themselves irrelevant, to be honest.[/quote]
I understand Fenlander and agree with him.
It is irrelevant, Buttercup (and not clearly proven) that Chinese must “work harder” to learn English because their L1 is so different. If you look at the U.S. Department of State language learning time guidelines–the longer times are invariably for languages with different writing scripts --so yes, it will take longer for an American to learn Chinese than Spanish. It will take longer for an American or Chinese to learn Arabic too because of the writing system. I’ve heard this myth: that German is easier for English speakers than Spanish because German is very similar to English. Ha. Ha. I’m sure you don’t think this, Buttercup (or do you??). If you don’t, then you should reassess how the similarity of the L1 and L2 is so important.
There are many variables in language learning. Perhaps L1 and L2 similarity may be a factor, but I’d suspect it would be a small one and it would depend. German is easier to learn in this way, much harder in this other area. Spanish is easier to learn in this area, much harder in this other area. This would be the viewpoint of most linguists. Since native children learn all L1 languages within an equal amount of time there isn’t a language that is harder than another. Similarity? Try to speak Black English. It is very similar to Standard English. I can understand it. But I cannot speak it. Buttercup, if similarity is such a key factor, than Black English should be a snap for me to pickup–and it is not. Stephen Pinker mentions how many gifted mimics and comedians cannot do Black English convincingly. So much for L1 and L2 similarity.
Interestingly, you both blame students “Psychologically, it validates their early failures to engage with their study.” while also blaming teachers who both teach grammar and stress input: “They are also taught decontextualised ‘grammar’ by local teachers, and then taught by clueless foreign teachers that they ‘learn by chatting and watching movies’”
Your criticism here seems too much like a shotgun approach. We suck. Okay, I get it. We all suck (except for you).