If you were/are a teacher there

I am a member of the biggest cram school for English learning in Taiwan. After two-week participation, I’ve tried every foreign teacher’s class. Then I requested a refund because I felt except for two teachers the rest teachers’ teaching qualities were not good. However, my request was denied. Now I have to stay at this cram school for 2 years so I am begging you to change a little bit if you were/are a teacher there.

  1. Be on time. Always be on time, even though there are few students in a class room. Teachers should not read newspaper, be on the phone or operate smartphones anymore when the class should start.
  2. Limit idle chatting. It’s fine to have it as a beginning in a class, but please, please don’t talk in that way for more than 10 minutes (or maybe 15. I don’t know the exact minutes). One teacher said he did in that way and disliked to talk about textbooks in case students were under the pressure. Come on! If students would like to be relaxed, they would stay in front of TV or PC rather than paying money to a cram school.
  3. No long personal speech. The ability the students want to improve is not only listening, O.K.? When a teacher talkatively talks about his own life or personal interest for a long time (for example:30 minutes in a 90-minute class) and without any interaction with students, it’s quite unbearable. Teacher’s personal matters can be talked about but please use them as teaching materials.
  4. Don’t degenerate. No matter how familiar with students, how many students in a class or how long have involved in a teaching job , teachers should show their specialty in every class.

All very reasonable requests but why do you need to stay for 2 years?

Let me get this straight.
You paid some kind of tutoring fee for two years in advance. The fee was paid in form of a club membership fee.
You are dissatisfied with their service and want to cancel your membership and get a refund.

You should go to the consumer association in Taipei and ask for assistance.

If you have legitimate complaints about what’s going on in class, raise your hand after (for example) 10 minutes of the teacher talking about his personal things. Ask a question. Restate what he’s said. “So, if I understand you correctly, you’re saying that when you are in the UK, you go to the pub every Thursday night and…”

There are many subtle ways to take control of a class as a student. The less professional and prepared a teacher is, the more likely those methods will succeed (for the student).

I think that if you are trying to send a message here to that teacher, it probably won’t be effective because chances are they are not members on this site. You didn’t mention the school name or location either and what you posted is pretty general and won’t help to get the message across to that teacher.

As far as being on time, many times a teacher may arrive on time and no other student is there on time, so he or she may have a newspaper open or be using a cell phone to pass the time until students arrive. I don’t see a problem with this as long as the teacher immediately puts away the material when the student arrives. If they ignore you and keep reading the paper or using the cell phone, then there is a problem that should be dealt with, more on that later.

As far as idle chatting, some students like to practice speaking and listening with foreigners. They often say that they have no opportunity to do this outside of the class. In addition, some students complain if you were to only use a book all class. I had students tell me point blank that they can read the material on their own, but they want discussion as well. If teachers only stuck to a book all class, I’m sure other students would be put off and they would be on this site complaining that all the teacher does is read a book to them. A good teacher will try to balance the needs of everyone.

As far as personal speech goes, a good teacher loves it when students chime in with their own stories. We do not like to hear ourselves talk for the most part. There are some passive students and I will not force them to speak if they do not want too. I will always ask the students questions to give them chances to speak but if they are not taken, then I have to keep speaking or the class just dies.

I am curious how the teacher degenerates you however? Could you clarify this?

What I usually do is ask my students to provide me feedback directly. I don’t want them running to management for any little thing they don’t like, so I provide them my cell number and email address right up front and say that I really love suggestions, and if they have ideas to make the class better to please tell me. I’m sure your teacher would not be insulted if you politely asked him/her that you have a certain focus to your study and could they help you. Trust me, if any student were to give me suggestions on how to improve, I would not be insulted but grateful.

Ironlady is correct that restating things is useful. It will help you lock in sentence patterns without rote memorizing. She is also bang on that the student needs to take control of the class. You are the paying customer, so tell the teacher exactly what you are looking for.

This seems like a rehash of this thread: forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtop … g+in+class

I’m confused as to why the hell an adult with a relatively advanced grasp of English would actually pay to attend a cram school.

On the other hand, if the teachers are late for class or sitting around reading a newspaper, diddling on their smartphones, or chatting about personal issues, I doubt that the student is actually enrolled in a cram school.

Cram schools cram, and management is very strict.

There’s a faint waft of a piscatorial aroma about this thread.

I seem to remember that “cram schools” are officially defined as “short-term” with terms not to exceed six months, and you might have a case for getting a refund. But if as suggested it’s in the form of a club membership, that might not be of help.

Some adult English schools are of the cram school variety with tests and books, and others use a proprietary magazine with no tests which is a more open concept, and not what people would consider a “cram” school.

Adult schools are typically like a club membership program where students can come and go as they please, not required to come to all the classes, and can choose which teacher they want based on a schedule.

[quote=“wewe”]I am a member of the biggest cram school for English learning in Taiwan. After two-week participation, I’ve tried every foreign teacher’s class. Then I requested a refund because I felt except for two teachers the rest teachers’ teaching qualities were not good. However, my request was denied. Now I have to stay at this cram school for 2 years so I am begging you to change a little bit if you were/are a teacher there.

  1. Be on time. Always be on time, even though there are few students in a class room. Teachers should not read newspaper, be on the phone or operate smartphones anymore when the class should start.

  2. Limit idle chatting. It’s fine to have it as a beginning in a class, but please, please don’t talk in that way for more than 10 minutes (or maybe 15. I don’t know the exact minutes). One teacher said he did in that way and disliked to talk about textbooks in case students were under the pressure. Come on! If students would like to be relaxed, they would stay in front of TV or PC rather than paying money to a cram school.

  3. No long personal speech. The ability the students want to improve is not only listening, O.K.? When a teacher talkatively talks about his own life or personal interest for a long time (for example:30 minutes in a 90-minute class) and without any interaction with students, it’s quite unbearable. Teacher’s personal matters can be talked about but please use them as teaching materials.

  4. Don’t degenerate. No matter how familiar with students, how many students in a class or how long have involved in a teaching job , teachers should show their specialty in every class.[/quote]

  5. Agreed.

  6. You should join the “chatting”. It’s called “practicing English”. Most students pay money and sit silently instead of practicing.

  7. See #2. You’re silent, so we have to talk about SOMETHING.

  8. Not really sure what you mean here. Go to class and practice your English.

Any foreign teacher is going to want to engage you. If you just sit there, we think you’re not interested in the class and unwilling to learn. Generally our classes aren’t “listening” classes, but Taiwanese students do nothing BUT listen.

I work at a similar school to yours, I’m sure.

If I ask my students to write, they get mad.
If I ask them questions, they duck their heads down and refuse to answer.
If I plan activities that let you really practice your English, they get mad and leave my class.

Students at those schools are LAZY. They don’t want to be pushed at all.

If I talk about myself a lot, and go through the material slowly and make it really boring, they keep coming to my class.

Your teacher doesn’t want to talk about themselves, but you guys didn’t talk about anything, so that’s all that’s left.

Stop ruining your own class and talk to the teacher or your classmates. Just make sure the teacher isn’t in the middle of explaining something, open your mouth, and ask a question.

If you want a grammar lesson, go find a Taiwanese teacher. They’re better at it.

Also it’s very hard to please everyone there. Last night I had several students beg me to not look at the textbook because they only wanted chatting. I told them we couldn’t, because people like you might be in the class and they’ll cause trouble for me. These students couldn’t imagine why anyone would think speaking English for 90 minutes was a poor use of time.

In order to have a conversation two people need to talk. Having been an adult English teacher myself I know how hard it can be to get Taiwanese students to talk.

I don’t understand the focus on the teacher here. The student made the the mistake of purchasing a 2 year membership, even though there have been many cases of people losing money or getting trapped by these types of tricky deals.
The student should make the best of it, go to the teachers classes he/she likes and start talking and practicing English as they obviously don’t need to be reading any more books.

So, let me get this right. You paid for two years of membership in advance, were not happy, asked for a refund and it was denied. Did you ask to “trial” a few classes in advance? Did you think about paying for a shorter period of membership just to make sure that what the school was offering suited your needs? Did you ask about the school’s refund policy in advance? Now, a two year membership probably cost 20k to 50k depending on the school, so you are obviously a little bit upset about it, which is something I can totally understand. However, I honestly don’t see how one could end up in the situation you find yourself in if they did their homework in advance.

Considering the number of adult students that simply go to class to practice their listening or fill up their empty weekends, I think the teachers at the school will be delighted to have you in their classes as soon as they find out that you actually do want to learn. I bet there is a very good chance that some of the habits they display that you are not happy with are a result of the teachers adjusting their teaching methods to suit the majority of the students in their classes. From my personal experience, I know that Taiwanese students “tend” to prefer a specific style of teaching. I think there would be a very good chance that the teachers will adapt what they do in class to make you feel more comfortable, as it seems like you prefer active instead of passive learning. Furthermore, they’ll probably be happy to do this as it means they’ll feel like they are really helping someone instead of just entertaining a class of students.

I think you have a great attitude towards learning, but you problems with administration should be taken up with them, and not the teachers. Having said that, I know we all do need to vent, since venting is something that keeps this forum alive :slight_smile:. I honestly believe that you’ll get more than your money’s worth out of the classes if you go and have the right attitude, which I believe you do. Most adult classes are quiet, and it seems like that is something you could really take advantage of. Good luck and have fun.

Is it just me, or does the saying “Fucked if you do. Fucked if you don’t” come to mind?

If the teacher taught the way the OP requires, then other students will surely complain.

The very nature of this business is fucked. If you complain to management, they will never take responsibility. Maybe they are missing the correct gene? I don’t know.

They will just go to the teacher and complain to him/her that a student complained, and he/she must change the lesson.

Said teacher then changes the lesson to accomodate the complaining student. Guaranteed then another student will go and complain. Management as explained above will go and complain to the teacher, and tell him/her to change his/her lesson.

Repeat this 10 000 000 times.

You see the cram school does not give a shit about the OP. Only the OP’s $$$$$.

However, it is the responsibility of the OP to find out exactly how the lessons will be conducted before signing a contract. Caveat Emptor (did I spell it right).