TeachingEnglish in China
Classroomenvironment in China is totally different from that in America. InChina students go to school for seven days and they are in schoolthroughout until the school closes. It would be important that anAmerican teacher going to China is adequately preparedpsychologically to alter his or her schedule and be ready to be inclass from Sunday to Sunday. The widely spoken language in China ismandarin and Chinese use symbols to write. So the teacher has tobegin from scratch and it is important that the teacher derives waysto impart skills on how to use English confidently and casually(Manfred 1). Additionally, because of the large number of hours thatstudents spend in classroom teaching, it might be helpful tostructure lessons, such that they involve learners and that theyadequately participate in classroom discussion.
Chinesestudents have been found to be passive in the teaching environment.Majority of the students show a lack of initiative in engaging inclassroom activities, an element that comes from the Chinese conceptof the duties of learners and teachers (Burkett 28). Students believethat a teacher should be dominating and commanding while learnersshould be obedient and respectful to their tutors. AN Americanteacher going to teach English in China should realize that theyshall be burdened with the work of bridging the gap and changing thestudent mindset so that they can be open and interact.
Educationsystem is America is influenced by individualism and as such teachersexpect learners, especially in high school to be as independent aspossible and they sole duty will be to offer information and guidanceto assist the complete their academic work and studies. Learners aresupposed to work independently and should not copy other studentideas or work (U.S. Department of State 1). Chinese student come fromcommunity oriented culture which supports and encourages groupcooperation in all aspects of life (Stanley 43). An American teacherin China should know that their teaching methods should encourage asmuch cooperation between learners as possible. A foreign teacher inChina need also to know that Chinese learning style is influencedsignificantly by their culture. Chinese students learn best throughobservation and intense engagement in classroom activities. Studentsprefer written instructions since they grow up watching theirteachers do task first before they ask learners to try (Muriel 11).
Confucianismstresses on the hierarchy of relationship and collectivism. Everymember in the Chinese society, including students, has a set ofduties and responsibilities that they must fulfill. This hierarchy isbased on geographical region, kinship, education, age and politicalaffiliation. The teacher is considered to be at the top of thehierarchy and this limit the level of student engagement andinteraction, a feature that might derail learning. The organizationof the Chinese society leads to differences in practical issues(Manfred 1). For instance, Students in China are loath to expresstheir emotions, and reaction to various events. Young Chinesechildren also find it increasingly difficult to address theirseniors, especially teachers. Therefore, it is the responsibility ofthe educator to assess ways to identify different reactions, and makeefforts to bridge the gap between the students and the teachers.
Consideringthe differences between Chinese and English languages is an importantmilestone in helping a foreign English teacher in China to addressthe need of students adequately (Aghajanian andCong 6). Even though Chinese learn English, new words, grammarand vocabulary, they still reconstruct their thinking and languagepattern based on the Chinese language. The teacher may find itdifficult to grade leaner’s papers is this aspect is notconsidered.
Burkett,Bill. AManual for .Indianapolis: Dog Ear Pub, 2009. Print.
ManfredWu Man Fat.Problems Faced by Chinese Learners in L2 English Learning andPedagogic Recommendations from an Inter-Cultural CommunicationPerspective. Karen`sLinguistics Issues,August 2004, Retrieved fromhttp://www3.telus.net/linguisticsissues/problemschinese.html
MurielSaville-Troike. AGuide to Culture in the Classroom.National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education, 1978. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ncela.us/files/rcd/BE000443/Culture.pdf
Stanley,Phiona. ACritical Ethnography of ‘Westerners’ .Shanghaied in Shanghai. Routledge, 2013
U.S.Department of State. TeachingEnglish in China.2014. Web. Available athttp://beijing.usembassy-china.org.cn/acs_teach.html