I have been teaching English in China for four years and, like all the other foreign English teachers, I find that the Students approach to learning - (we can correctly call this, &quot;Chinese Culture&quot;) - not only stops them from learning English well, but frustrates teaching efforts. This lecture is to discuss how we I have been teaching English in China for four years and, like all the other foreign English teachers, I find that the Students approach to learning - (we can correctly call this, &quot;Chinese Culture&quot;) - not only stops them from learning English well, but frustrates teaching efforts. This lecture is to discuss how we can work together to improve students skills.
How to Improve Oral English Why Can't Chinese Students Speak English Very Well?
The Culture Barrier: The Real Reason Chinese Students Don't Progress!
Monash University (Australia) Website has an article; http://www.monash.edu.au/lls/China/index.xml
“ Working with Students from China”.
In this article they discuss two issues relating to the English language skills of Chinese students studying at the university.
2. Obstacles to effective spoken expression… 1. Should Chinese (Language) Be Banned (in the classroom)?
1. Should Chinese (Language) Be Banned (in the classroom)?
However international their content, the disciplines we teach in Australian universities are conceived, elaborated and passed on in English. Their discourse is framed in English, and that is what we expect the students to acquire, use and contribute to and what the students themselves expect to acquire and use.
But we need to recognise that few, if any, students from mainland China arrive on our campuses with the level of English language skills they would need to work only in English, and that even the best of them are likely to take at least half a semester (6 weeks) to develop facility in thinking in English.
Monash University proposes a solution to these problems
In an article by Australian English Teacher, this issue has been discussed at length, and I propose to share these discussions with you now…
(“ Conversational English: Breaking Through the Chinese Culture Barrier”. By R .P. BenDedek)
“ Facilitating Interaction in Class ” http://www.monash.edu.au/lls/China/teaching/interaction3.xml
What Does Culture Have To Do With Successfully Learning English?
Why don’t students speak freely in English in Class? English Language Culture is very different to Chinese Language Culture. Even though you think that being 'Chinese' means that you have 'a' culture, i.e. 'one' culture, you really have many cultures in China that effect you and the way you think and act.
Some of The Cultures That Affect You as Chinese Students: 6. Classroom Culture 5. School Culture 4. Family Culture 3. Province, Town, Village Culture. 2. Communist Culture 1. Traditional Confucian Culture
Confucianism puts loyalty to family and friends first, your 'face' second, and then your country (probably after Money, Western Movies and Music, girl/boyfriend, friends, and worries about the future).
A mix of traditional Confucian culture and communist thinking from the period of the cultural revolution. (e.g. Students get to report on the teachers, and so have power over them). This is not traditional Chinese culture. The Chinese method of learning is by Memorization. The teacher talks and the students write down what the Teacher says. The teacher tells them what to learn, and they memorize it. Unfortunately, this method of learning is not sufficient for learning effective and natural communication in English.
Coloured hair, western clothing, cell phones in class as well as MP3's and ipods to listen to music. This certainly is not the traditional culture or the Communist culture of China. In some classes where most students are not really interested in English, there’s a good learning environment but in others, where most students are interested in improving their English, it’s a poor learning environment. Why? One student, or group, control and/or rule the class. Others are afraid of them, or don’t know how to stop them. So everyone suffers, and little progress is made.
The Difference between Grammar and Language Culture.
The purpose of exams in class is not to test knowledge or grammar but to test Language and Communication Skill.
What is the Purpose of Doing 'Real Time' Group Discussion?
To learn SKILLS
To Learn from Others
To Learn that there are no right or wrong answers in conversations - only good or bad communication skills
What is Expected of You in Oral English Class?
Do not waste the teacher's time.
Do not waste the other student's time.
Do not waste your own time.
Learn from the teacher.
Learn from others.
Learn by your mistakes.
Do what is asked - understand and think about the assigned tasks.
Use imagination and skill to communicate in English.
Improve your listening skills by listening carefully to everyone who is speaking English in class.
Improve use of grammar, by paying attention to and learning from both the teacher and other students.
Correct your own speaking flaws, even before you get up to speak, because you will already have heard the teacher correct other students.
Which Students Fail to Get High Exam Marks? Students With Wrong Attitudes!
8 Wrong Attitudes:
1. Let Chinese cultural thinking prevent you from learning to communicate in English in a natural way.
2. Refuse to believe that a native English speaker knows better than a Chinese grammar teacher, how to speak English. 3. Some Students only want to memorize what to say. 4. Don’t really try to learn to communicate in English.
5. Get the teacher to tell you what to write down, to think, and to say. This stops you from learning natural English. 6. Don't work hard. Just get everyone to make you feel good and feel loved and to be friendly. (This does not happen in the real world in real life) 7. Just 'kill time' until you can go to work. 8. Another Really bad attitude. Choose the ‘best accent’.