Discussion » Nonsense » advice my friends, concerned with career thing

  • Matt
    Matt wrote:
    <p>Hi, everyone,</p> <p>I'm Chinese, English major. I can do teaching, translating (essential interpreting) as very fundamental living skills. But I seriously have a problem with the language itself when I heard people say it's simply just a tool. And what's more serious, I found myself unhappy at all when I teach English. Is there anything wrong with myself? My friends, please feel free to make a contact and give me some advice on how I should practically do for now(very important) and for the future.&nbsp;my msn is zhangxu110585@hotmail.com</p> <p>Well, I should say that I'm not so willing to help little kids in Beijing in terms of English teaching. Cuz too much pressure is put on us as English has been an excuse for parents and commercial movements. Too hurry has the city been to have those kids "grow faster" as itself does. Language is becoming fastfood. What can I myself change? Don't blame me as a coward, although I have to admit I am. If the education of the country needs me to hold its shit as it spoils our kids, i'd rather say "fuck it" and let kids who know right from wrong struggle and rebel by themselves, cuz English is something majorly mastered by oneself rather than taught by some singing dancing teachers. Too many things to consider drives me stressful. Maybe I should take a previous psychology test I had serious that I should be an writer or learn some arts so that I could find inner peace. I love writing and arts by the way. :-D</p> <p>Plus, if there's the possibility, please simply do me a favor. I would be grateful if there's any opportunity for me to be an intern in fields like publishing and film making or something. I'm a good learner. :-)</p>
  • Simen Wangberg

    "I found myself unhappy"

    Don't even need to read the rest of it. Don't do anything that makes you unhappy - if you can avoid it. Some things are unavoidable - but you can choose your job, and you shouldn't choose one that makes you miserable.

    Also, that is some insightful shit about the ESL industry. Or rather, it's stuff that a lot of people already know, but won't admit because it's still a very lucrative business and will probably continue to be for quite some time.

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:

    Get the fuck out of the teaching business, OP. Especially if you're Chinese. You'll always be working twice as hard for half as much money as unqualified native speakers, because Chinese people are superficial and can't accept the simple truth that someone who speaks English as a second language is always going to have better advice for ESL students than a native speaker who learned the language naturally.

    I'll readily admit that I was an utterly incompetent ESL teacher. I stopped feeling guilty about it when I realized that so few of my spoiled, bratty students actually deserved the effort it would take to force-feed them the language. Fuck 'em. I'll take their money and entertain them under the guise of teaching "Western culture" or some such faggotry. If they really want to learn, they'll watch movies and read books.

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)

    ...

    Hahahahaha ... "I should say that I'm not so willing to help little kids in Beijing in terms of English teaching" ... how old are you again?

    I think you just have too much passion (or ideal) for an "industry" (or a job) that is mainly about survival ...

    I once had the pleasure to attend an English class after work, while working for another company, and the material was funny, if not laughable, and when I asked my colleague how would he would respond if the wording might be a bit different in real life, well, let's just say he did remember to open his mouth ...

    *more later * ... if you want to hear :)

  • Matt
    Matt wrote:

    Go ahead, my friends! Thanks for your sharing.

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)

    ...

    (continued) ... dare I ask ... why? heehee ... ok then, you did ask for it very nicely, and I aim to please while being an idiot ...

    ... "when I heard people say it's simply just a tool" ... as a non-native Chinese (I still cracked every time I recall who said this), I found it actually strangely funny when people told me that they like "English", or even consider it a "hobby" ... as far as I can tell, English, as a language, is just the same as any communication tool like Chinese, Japanese etc, and can never be put into the same category as music or painting or gardening or cooking ...

    ... if you are stuck with standard (or fomulated) teaching material, then I agree with Dando that you should get out of it ... perhaps, change to smaller group that allows you to choose the material that are more beneficial to the students ...

    ... however, I believe "teaching" can still be great fun ... hell, I dislike China, but I learn to make and have fun out of it here, and I am the one without a brain, so you should be able to have fun while teaching some of the most laughable material ...

    ... even as only one person out of the entire system, stuck in a ESL course or otherwise, you can still be a great asset to your kids, if you want to do it right ...

  • Daniel
    Daniel wrote:

    ... "when I heard people say it's simply just a tool" ... as a non-native Chinese (I still cracked every time I recall who said this), I found it actually strangely funny when people told me that they like "English", or even consider it a "hobby" ... as far as I can tell, English, as a language, is just the same as any communication tool like Chinese, Japanese etc, and can never be put into the same category as music or painting or gardening or cooking ...

    I guess there is this conceptualisation of learning English as something recreational, attached to ideas of hanging out with language partners and joining activities with native-English speakers. 

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:

    I prefer that people approach it as a hobby or a personal interest instead of treating it as a tool.

    The people who think of it as a tool are typically the sort who only speak English to native speakers instead of practicing with their Chinese friends and classmates. They are also more likely to ask teachers to skip all the boring cultural shit and offer shortcuts for passing the IELTS or TOEFL.

    Culture and language aren't so easily separated. This is most certainly true of Chinese language and culture. What the fuck is the purpose of learning 成语 without learning the stories behind them?

    inb4 Westerners lack culture

  • High Priest
    High Priest wrote:

    Dear friend,  as some fellows stated upstairs, teaching english by a Chinese in Beijing would be a very tough task. Parents can't accept you easily, even students themselves. There are 4 years old who may even ask you which accent you are using...

    As I can see, you've dedicated part of your life to get where you are today. Challenges that you are met with are great that sometime you just wanna give up and find something else to do where u can't get shit from school boy, girls and their parents.

    But let me tell you, nothing is easy in this life. In every industry you will go to, you shall find mountains to climb. I'd advice you to cling on. To improve you teaching skill and make a difference to convince your audience that, as a non native speaker holding and ESL certificate, you may have something special to offer. Get that pation back and you shall reap what  you have sown for years. Life is not made for quitters. I don't say, that you can't change industry, life is about taking risks, but, try one more time.

    High priest

  • Daniel
    Daniel wrote:

    I wouldn't take it that far. Do you put your proficiency in languages under skills or hobbies (if you include that section) on a CV/resume?

    You also need to be careful in persisting with that 'language is not a tool' argument because most linguists would argue that's exactly what language is. 

    edited: (I know that's not the argument you're making, but that's one of the logical destinations for what you're suggesting regarding English-teaching)

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:

    @Daniel

    Let's not talk about my CV.

    I meant to say that I don't have a problem with people treating language as a means to an ends, but I deleted that sentence. I can't figure out why. But the problem is that in conceptualizing language as a tool belies a tendency to seek magic English-teaching pills.

    It's just the feeling that I got when asking groups of IELTS/TOEFL cram students about the last book or movie they had read/seen in English. It's fucking depressing.

    "You also need to be careful in persisting with that 'language is not a tool' argument because most linguists would argue that's exactly what language is."

    I think Chomsky and other "deep structure" theorists would consider it more like an appendage than a tool.

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:

    And yes, I do realize that I'm opening myself up for a lot of abuse by mentioning Chomsky. Do your worst.

  • Micky
    Micky wrote:

    @Matt C, all well said and done. I think you'll be making a mistake in your English teaching career by trying or pretending to speak English like foreigners being them native or non native speakers.

    There’s one famous language school here in China most of their teachers are Chinese and these teachers have very good command of English and students love and appreciate them so much they focus mainly on exams.

    If you humbly learn to speak English like you, not like Dando from US, Daniel from UK, DD from HK or my humble self from no where you’ll excel fast in teaching profession.

    Another point is that instead you staying in Beijing and get frustrated there’s nothing wrong in moving to other cities where you may not have much competition from native English speakers.
    Take it or leave it, English teaching is now a big business in China headmasters / headmistresses are suggesting to the teachers to tell lies about their nationality to suit the students and parents.

    A white guy could claim to come from Australia, US, Canada, UK, or New Zealand; a black guy could claim to be African American the question is where would you claim that you came from?  That’s why you’re sad.

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