What Chinese teachers are saying about you

For those of you who read Chinese, I would encourage you to go to Caves’ website to get a sense of what some Chinese teachers think about foreign teachers.

After reading so much complaining here and on other expat-oriented sites, it’s interesting to hear ‘the other side of the story’. :stuck_out_tongue:

Here’s a quick link to the first page of the forums:


Any desire to provide a few tidbits in English?

I only read one bitchy thread:

Sounds like this teacher just ran into a Forumosan or something…

The foreign teacher couldn’t handle having the Chinese teacher in the back of the room, so he/she told him/her to get out. After a while, this cocky big nose got on the whole school’s nerve, so the boss told him to leave, but Mr. Cocky wanted his pay and gave them the ‘you treat foreigners like dirt’ rap. Sounds like a crap situation.

Anyway, it’s time to practice SMILE KUNG FU!!!

That’s right, kiddies, just smile! The rules are:

  1. The most polite person wins.
  2. 多禮不怪 : You can never be too polite.

Well, there’s more than one, but it does take a while to go through a lot of pages of threads. :wink:

[quote=“Bigus Dorkus”]That’s right, kiddies, just smile! The rules are:

  1. The most polite person wins.
  2. 多禮不怪 : You can never be too polite.[/quote]I don’t know about “polite”. How about just being nice? Say thanks when they do something to help you, don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself when you slip up. Take some time to chat to them after class. Buy a round of milk teas from time to time.

I’ve taught a few Taiwanese English teachers and while some of them are among my favorite people personally, there are others that I could do without. It seems like they are mostly interested in showing you up and ignoring anything productive you have to offer. For example I had one ask me why you needed an “a” in the sentence “This is a book”. I explained that “a” was basically an unstressed form of “one.” She said that the pronoun “this” and the singular verb made it clear that the predicate contained a singular noun. So, she wondered, why say “a?” I pointed out that in Manadarin it would be grammaticaly correct to say “Zhe shi yi ben shu.” I asked her why it was customary to say “'yi” ben shu" when the pronoun “zhe” makes it clear that shu is singular. She pointed out that we were in an English class and not a Chinese class. I pointed out that some things are not really amenable to analysis and that anyway this particular grammar pattern (perhaps with the addition of an adjective for ex. This is a good book.) is probably common enough that most students would be better advised to just absorb the pattern through massive exposure to the language. I also pointed out the deciding between “a” and “the” can be an entirely more complicated question. None of this was good enough for her and both of us were left feeling like we had been forced to swallow dog puke.

There is no need to go to a website to find this out, if you can understand Chinese. Just stay in the teachers’ room and listen as they discuss you and the other foreign teachers in Chinese, blithely unaware that some foreigners can actually ting de dong guoyu.
It is amazing how bitchy a lot of sweet-looking xiaojies are.

Or conversely, how sweet a lot of bitchy young xiaojies are.

bob wrote

Only a Chinese would ask this. What do they think this is, maths? Soulless geek twats. Why didn’t you ask them if they’ve read any interesting books lately? The answer, of course, would be no, or more likely, ghostly silence.

On another occasion she told me that she loved to lick her girlfriend’s pussy. Not sure how this relates exactly but interesting nonetheless.

bob wrote:

Some warped laowai obviously told her it would enhance her ability to pass an IELTS test or some such crap. Probably does coz it sure don’t test English ability. Anyway can’t recommend it, you’ll catch fleas or summat.

[quote=“yeti”]bob wrote:

Some warped laowai obviously told her it would enhance her ability to pass an IELTS test or some such crap. Probably does coz it sure don’t test English ability. Anyway can’t recommend it, you’ll catch fleas or summat.[/quote]
Surely it would improve your lingual ability?

Bob, how does anyone go from pointless discussions designed to show off to, er, that? You must work in a really interesting school.

I agree with Yeti. If you start analysing the language to death you realise that it has been cobbled together out of bits and pieces of other people’s and is mostly illogical. That’s what makes it so flexible and potentially beautiful. If she hasn’t figured that out yet then what is she doing teaching? Oh, I know. It’s one of those ‘conquer english’ places is it?

In that case, who cares what they think?

Objection: IELTS is the best test of English ability that there is. The reason why Taiwanese can’t do it is because it tests English thoroughly, not in piecemeal fashion.

I disagree. The IELTS test is primarily used to test academic English ability, and candidates are scored against “piecemeal” criteria, such as “coherence and cohesion” and “lexical resource”. IELTS certainly isn’t a thorough English test (An oxymoron, surely?), and its effectiveness as an EAP test is also in doubt: To date IELTS studies have found no link between IELTS scores and academic ability in an English-speaking environment.

ielts.org/teachersandresearc … le103.aspx

Strag - I’ve never taught in a school. Privates all the way, so of course almost anything that can happen does happen.

Doesn’t the IELTS have an communicative competence as well as an academic section? And isn’t the academic section recommended only for people who intend to go on to university in an English speaking country. And isn’t the communicative comptence section pretty good? I am only asking because I want to know.

IELTS speaking module is assessed according to 4 criterial: pronunciation, grammar, lexical resource, and fluency and coherence. Taken together perhaps these equal communicative competence, but I don’t recall that term being used in the IELTS literature. The majority of test-takers do the academic module, but the speaking test is the same for academic or general candidates. Many of the speaking topics are highly unsuitable for general candidates, let alone academic ones. I’d hazard many native speakers would have difficulty responding to some of the topic questions.

I think it’s important to consider the thoughts of Chinese teachers. After all, not a few people in Taiwan have negative opinions of foreign teachers. They’re often seen as short-term gold diggers who work the vein and then take off. Better communication between local and foreign teachers could help alleviate that perception.

The fact is there are a lot of highly committed local and foreign teachers, but the perception/communication gap between them is often huge. That’s why there are so many misconceptions on this board (for foreigners) and Chinese boards (for local teachers) when it comes to ‘the other side’. Having met hundreds of local teachers, I can say many are very hard working and dedicated. Thousands show up every year at ETA. Very impressive. Likewise, there are a large number of foreign teachers who do care about thier work and aren’t here for a quick buck.

It might behoove foreign teachers to spend more time seeking out their local colleagues, and vice-versa. When that happens, I think it would help dissipate the cynicism and negativity that’s endemic to certain aspects of the field.

I’m not one of those short term gold diggers. I’m a long term gold digger. The shaft is quite deep already. Just being flippant.

I don’t know why, but foreigners aywhere in the world are usually seen as gold diggers especially if there are thousands of them in a small area. The same people who feel threatened in this way tend to forget that there are multitudes of their own countymen in other parts of the world. As for me, I’ve been told that when my co-workers interact with me, they don’t feel that they are speaking to a foreigner, just another person. However, I have had problems with the xiaojies. I could sum it up by saying they were unhappy about the fact that thwey were earning much less than foreign teachers. In my own mind I tried to justify it by thinking that if I were to work as a Chinese chef in America, I would be willing to accept less pay since I don’t know much about Chinese food.

Not them too. :blush:

Show gratitude. I really appreciate my teaching assistants for putting up with me and my horrible disorganization. I praise and thank them for every little thing they do. I ask for their opinion about things and am genuinely interested in what they have to say. give respect and there’s a good chance that you’ll get it back.