This post is inspired by the students in Chia and Varinder’s class: excellent Teach-off: http://chiasuanchong.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/the-teach-off-coursebk-day-3/
“I so enjoyed this lesson Mr Wade, you are the best teacher I have ever had”
“Oh no, we don’t want our break teacher, please talk more to us”
“It doesn’t matter that it is the end of class, we so enjoy listening to you”
“Yes, please give us more homework”
“Me, sir, pick me please”
“Can I answer this question please?”
“Excuse me sire, I don’t understand this word, could you please explain it to us”
“I will never forget your lesson sir, being in your class has been the greatest experience of my life”
I may be exaggerating a tad but this is what language school students are like, some would have us believe. It could be to do with leaving their home and going abroad, the environment or just that the only ones who can afford it really want to learn.
It was after teaching such students that I decided to go and teach on their home turf and ooooooohhh what a difference it was. Since then I have taught many nationalities on their territories and it is far from the above.
I believe that many of us in language schools, especially in the UK, are VERY lucky and don’t appreciate it. I think if you took one of those teachers and stuck them in a Parisian high school with a class of 20+ teens he/she would have a tough time.
I’ve been sworn at, punched, kicked, shouted at, been on the end of thrown objects, had to throw students out, physically restrain them, just walk out and even got called in to deal with other classes and a lot of that was in the UK.
With the increase of ELF and that now more non-natives speak English than natives, it seems logical to say that far more English is taught in non-native environments in schools and unis and some language schools than is delivered in the UK, US, Canada or Australia.
Students are getting English in the government system as part of their studies and definitely are not as eager as my old EFL school students.
As the world changes we all may end up in those situations where we really have to teach and can’t rely on eager and positive and motivated and just LOVELY students you want to squeeze and hug and who shower you with gifts…and all that. Now it’s just survival!!!
Could you survive teaching English outside your safe environment?