Wednesday, September 14, 2005

As much as I laugh

and complain about Berlitz and NOVA and the other eikaiwa (conversation) "schools" in Japan, I can't blame them. They are giving students what they want---sort of satisfying a fetish for English---more than what they need. If they really tried to teach English as it should be taught and is taught in the States, Australian, and England, most students would quit and the schools would end up going broke. If Japanese customers started demanding professional level classes, companies would start providing them. I don't know, but I doubt Berlitz could get away in the U.S. with what they provide here. The idea of "we don't care what you do as long as the students enjoy the class and think that they learned something" wouldn't fly. At least in the classes they teach on contract in some public schools in the US. Standards are a bit higher there. However, the fact that students will accept any kind of garbage, doesn't excuse some of the unethical behavior some of these companies are involved in against their students and staff.

I recently got a "smile award" from a student who liked my class in part because my pronunciation was easy for her to understand. Wow. Now I feel like I have reached the peak of my teaching ability. I have such clear pronunciation, I get an award. I don't know whether to laugh or cry, but that is the type of criteria students judge teachers on.

No comments:

Post a Comment