I was always wondering how many teachers the MOE would end up getting for that audacious plan to hire 1,000 English teachers for the nation’s schools. So they got 40. That
I thought it was illegal to work for state schools?
Talk about a pratfall. Too bad, though. Standards of English here do really need to be raised, and one of the problems is local teachers sometimes teaching incorrect pronunciation and grammar.
It is worth reading the comments on Taiwantroll’s blog. Taiwantroll was one of the participants on the MoE program and he has some interesting things to say.
Pretty good but the following bits are more than a little off:
And the solution to this problem is to have a teacher with an accent? :loco:
[quote]Some foreign teachers argue that the problem could be solved if foreign teachers learned some Chinese. Well, while this might be true it is not practical for new teachers to the program. Also, it is a very basic tenet of teaching methodology that a learning environment needs to be established on the first day of class. And so introducing Chinese into the classroom at a later stage, once a teacher has learned some Mandarin, would be disruptive to the classroom. This is particularly true if a teacher is attempting to implement an
There is no need to write a manual 3 inches thick as the Japan Ministry of Education has done with the JET Programme. There is no secret to language learning and there are no short cuts: 1) The kids have to get a LOT of exposure to the target language. 2) The kids have got to be asked to use the language in a meaningful way throughout their day.//
Most local teachers of English cannot give the students ‘a lot’ of exposure to English because they do not or cannot speak in English…in fact, some of them have such poor English language skills that they feel exhausted and stop making sense in English after just one hour of trying to speak the language. They also cannot react to kids’ English (understand what they are saying half the time). Further, the current curriculum does not focus on meaningful use of the language…worse, the tests are full of anachronisms and MISTAKES and reinforce useless English. A child’s ability to pass one of those tests is more related to their memory than their language aptitude.//
Schools are reluctant to make the changes necessary to bring forth a meaningful English environment because they do not want to lose their IDENTITIES as centers of Taiwanese culture. I can understand this. Here in Okinawa, my teaching staff, the librarian, and admin. are actually anti-English. I can see where they are coming from…I agree with them…but I can also see the end in sight for this mindset. In the future, not being fluent in English is going to be a HUGE HANDICAP for all individuals, groups, economies. Japan currently just sees it as another way to scrape off some graft and make more jobs (re: the translation industry, the English education industry, etc.).//
In the future, everyone is going to have to ditch their self-esteem and cultural identities at the door and do whatever it takes to learn English fluently. I call it ‘slutting out for English’. The BASIC PROBLEM here is that these schools don’t want it bad enough. They don’t think it is an enormous problem that most Taiwanese students cannot communicate in English.
Thanks for listening.