Friday, October 07, 2005

What many students think of Berlitz (or any) English teacher

At my now part-time income supplement job at Berlitz, I was doing an exercise with elementary ability level students. I was helping them make a recruitment ad, so I used Berlitz as an example knowing I would get this kind of answer.

Question: What skills does a Berlitz English teacher need?
1. Can speak English.
2. Is usually polite.
3. Is funny

So basically, they assume Berlitz teachers need no knowledge, education, or skills. I don't disagree much about this for Berlitz or many other eikawa chain schools. However, many Japanese assume this for any non-Japanese English teacher anywhere.

If they want an intelligent, well-educated and trained teacher, they go to Japanese teachers. For native-speakers, they look for entertaining clowns---basically language whores---for "classes" which are primarily "fun." The idea that interesting, effective, and useful classes are possible or desirable is something many never think about.