It’s been quite some time since I visited this site, having left Taiwan three years ago, but here I am. Since returning to Canada and vowing to get out of ESL, I’ve found myself teaching ESL once again, in Toronto. It has been quite enlightening to teach non Asian , and non Taiwanese students.
Although I met many, many wonderful students in Taiwan, far too many were so dull and difficult to teach. I’m talking about teaching adults, not kids. For example, this was a common exchange;
me: “what did you do on the weekend?”
me:“nothing? you must have done something?”
me: “what do you like to do in your free time?”
Fast forward three years and now most of my students are Latin, mostly from Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela. You can’t keep them quiet! Conversation class is such a breeze! Talk about politics, gay rights, the arts, abortion, sports, the media? You name it, everyone has a strong opinion. We get some Koreans, Japanese and Taiwanese and they sit in silence and fiddle with their electronic dictionaries.
I know it’s a cultural dynamic and I have tremendous respect for Asian culture, but as an ESL teacher, give me a Brazilian any day of the week over a Taiwanese.