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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > Reflection on teaching English in China    

Reflection on teaching English in China


Reflection on teaching English in China

I don �t find my teaching satisfying enough that I always feel frustrated and do not like my present job at all. What should I do? Can you give me some suggestions?

I have been teaching Engish for more than ten years, but I still can not find a proper way to teach my students interestingly and efficiently.

As an English teacher, I have always been dreaming to teach English naturally and humourously as Professor Fianna, my English training teacher in the UK, presented to us. However, in China, English teachers have to face the reality, that is, the students have to pass an College Entrance Examination. With the heavy burden in our mind, we have to teach them how to deal with examinations, and try our best to help them get high marks. As a consequence, it seems that it becomes a contradition between teaching the 4 skills of English and helping them achieving their goals. We have to spend a lot of our time preparing examination papers, doing endless exercises and checking answers, especially when we are teaching Grade 3 students. Unfortunately, the results are not as satisfying as we expect.

How to solve the problem? Can you give me some tips? Thanks a lot.

4 Feb 2010      

Morrisons Eyes

Hello there,
I don �t teach in China and probaly I miss the point about cultural issues there. As you do, I teach final years which have their exams that is way opposite of fun (and of what a typical English class should be!). However, even if I spend part of my time preparing them to the exam (mostly by doing previous exam sujects and explaining a clear methodology for them to succeed), I would never spend the whole year on that. It �s so boring and it looks like you start to be quite bored.
So what I do is that I alternate this kind of lessons with funnier lessons where they can develop all their skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking). Of course, I find subjects that might interest them (I have teenage boys as students and I always think first if this or that subject could interest them). Just before the holidays, we often do games (card games, computer games where they have to use their English). It �s really enjoyable to play with them and have fun all together. These are ALWAYS my best lessons. PLaying is the best way to remember specific language structures and you can even invent games if you have a precise idea of what you want them to learn.
Hope that I gave you some clues and it �s always good to have a look back on what we did and to try to keep on learning and improving and learning and improving, etc. ;o)
Take care,

4 Feb 2010     


Thank you for ur lovely suggestions, Christelle.
Indeed, playing is the best way to learn English. However, In China we usually have a large class size with more than 40 students in a class, so it is not easy to control such a big class and play games with so many students together. Besides, it seems to be time consuming for us.
In the next term (after Chinese traditional Spring Festival), we are going to focus our attention on grammar, so are there any useful games or activities you are using to make it across to the students?

5 Feb 2010