Last Day Teaching


I’ve turned in my textbooks; cleared my desk; moved my photo to the “Former Teachers” wall. I hope that my students learnt some English and didn’t get bored by my jokes.

Teaching was an enjoyable experience because teachers are respected in China. Imparting knowledge to other is a satisfying experience for most people. Below are some thoughts about it all:

  • Ban on Chinese – I banned Chinese in the classroom to the point of screaming at students to use English only. This is a fundamental law in teaching theory. However, some days I gave up because there seemed to be no other way to teach. Some students can’t seem to escape thinking in Chinese.
  • Differences in Western and Chinese learning styles – My lessons are proactive and encourage students to talk as much as possible and ask questions. Traditionally, the Chinese students learn by passively listening to the teacher. Should a Western language be taught in a Western style?
  • Chinese English Teachers I’ve met students that have been learning English since before I was born but have not managed to go beyond the elementary levels. This reflects the lack of native teachers in Chinese primary schools and the emphasis on reading and writing, rather than communication.
  • Whiteboard or blackboard? – You decide.
  • Do good students overcome bad teachers, or do good teachers overcome bad students? – I’m saying that learning language is a partnership between student and teacher.
  • English is definitely harder to learn than Chinese.

If any former students wish to make a complaint then please leave a comment below:

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses

  • Rita says:

    Hi James,

    I whish you do not think my words in belowing are a complaint to you. To be a simple reason, I just want to practise my English with a britisher. In my experience, I’d prefer your pronunciation calss than conversation class. Perhaps I stayed a short time in your conversation calss. As did you write in your post ” the chinese students learn by passively listening” After pronunciation class, I can realise something has been learn from you. Even though, It just was a word which I spoke the wrong pronunciation before. I will pay more attention it in the future study. I know conversation class purpose is to encourage students talking freely. That is why you did not emphasis their grammar,pronunciation and sentence structure.
    I agree with your point. Chinese like to think English by Chinese way. That is why there are lots of Qing English in China. we understand it .However , you did not know.

  • carter says:

    Chinese is harder to learn than English!!! haha is true james?! when u coming bk?! why u remove facebook?! get it up there agains la! take care. Carter

Leave a Reply