Teaching English in Taiwan - My Experience

by Juan

Teaching English in Taiwan has been an evolving experience. A few students have independent minds, where they can think for themselves. The rest of the students are used to following the rules. When you deal with students who aren't use to thinking independently, as a teacher, I always try to design activities where they are actively involved. Balancing the different levels of thought between the students is never simple. For me, getting to know the class and making the class feel safe enough to express themselves in English is an ongoing goal.

I have spent class talking about hair and make-up with girls to motivate English in daily practice. Grammar and structure is tailored to the day's lesson. Each child's learning capacity depends on their willingness to learn. As the boys mature into their early teens, I have noticed a difference in their language skills. They begin to distance themselves from the class and return to their primitive selves.

The girls improve and they are patient enough to pick up new input. The kids are always energetic and they have kept me on my toes. Teaching in Taiwan is challenging because English requires constant feedback and thought. Challenging the individual who is used to memorizing without thinking is the ongoing challenge here.

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Nov 14, 2010
Independence & Thought
by: Mark (Admin)

Thanks for the post Juan. The problems of lack of learner independence and lack of thought is a problem everywhere I've taught, but even more here in East Asia. When I studied Chinese I was expected to memorize. When I understood the meaning of a listening, but didn't repeat exactly the same words in exactly the same order, I was told that I was wrong by the teacher. However, I do think teachers can make a difference here.

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