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Uneducated teachers

  1. #97
    bryant.english is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmyH View Post
    I see a lot of people here who struggle to get a job when they come here (their husband/wife has good job and they are bored) and they cannot speak cantonese. The first suggestion is always "do you speak English? why not get a job teaching?" This does not mean they would be good teachers and they may not have passion for it either. The fact that people feel that because the can speak the language they should somehow be qualified to teach it is beyond my comprehension.
    I wonder if you're confused. Western people who are teaching in government schools should be qualified. Normally they will have at least a undergraduate degree and a TEFL qualification and be working towards or hold a PGDE. Private tutorial centres are another matter of course!

    I hire NETs from time to time and agree that there are a lot of chancers trying to get English teaching work in HK. The following is an Email I received just today, this is not an excerpt, this is the whole email, I've only taken out the phone number:
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    English teacher
    I happen to be an experience english teacher for kindergarten, primary, and secondary students located in tai po, would you like to have a phone interview? Thank you, hope to hear from you soon.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well, I guess he/she is not a NET!! I specifically asked for a NET!
    Last edited by bryant.english; 01-17-2011 at 05:43 PM.

  2. #98
    AmyH is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by bryant.english View Post
    I wonder if you're confused. Western people who are teaching in government schools should be qualified. Normally they will have at least a undergraduate degree and a TEFL qualification and be working towards or hold a PGDE. Private tutorial centres are another matter of course!
    No confusion here at all. The OP raised the issue that she was teaching at a school where the people she was working with were not qualified to be in the classroom and the discussion arose from that.

    If you are referring to my comment about the route many take when they come to a foreign country and decide to "teach" because they can speak english, then I still believe this is wrong. Private tutorial or not, people should not pretend to be what they are not as it makes a mockery of others who have spent years obtaining the correct qualifications to do the job.
    \

  3. #99
    bryant.english is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmyH View Post
    No confusion here at all. The OP raised the issue that she was teaching at a school where the people she was working with were not qualified to be in the classroom and the discussion arose from that.

    If you are referring to my comment about the route many take when they come to a foreign country and decide to "teach" because they can speak english, then I still believe this is wrong. Private tutorial or not, people should not pretend to be what they are not as it makes a mockery of others who have spent years obtaining the correct qualifications to do the job.
    \
    But the problem is to attract professional teachers you need to pay professional salaries. The NET scheme does this, if you have a PGDE and several years of experience, you will be paid quite well. In a tutorial centre, an unqualified teacher can earn less than 200HKD per hour and the centre might charge parents 400HKD per month for four one hour lessons. Most qualified teachers would not get out of bed for this little money. People will not come here to teach if their standard of living is less than what it would be in their home country, unless they are planning on doing it short term to get overseas experience. Many HKers cannot afford to pay huge sums of money for tuition and adopt an any English is better than none approach - they're probably right to do this, I'd rather an ordinary education than none at all. I'm sorry, it's all well and good to make sweeping statements but what about the consequences? There is a kindergarten near me which is already priced out of having a NET because of the qualification requirement. They do have a qualified local English teacher and frankly, given that she can barely string a sentence together, I'd rather have my kids taught spoken English by a plumber!

  4. #100
    bryant.english is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by matemate View Post
    unfortunately in hong kong, the only criteria to teach english is to be western looking and have english as your mother tongue. it also seems to be the demand from the typical parents - which you can see when you realize that people who look not western (i.e. asian) but who have english as their mother tongue are not accepted as english teachers by many schools and especially parents
    Where do you get off saying this, it's simply not true!

  5. #101
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    [QUOTE=bryant.english;1051521]Where do you get off saying this, it's simply not true.]

    couldn't agree more! the HKG does indeed have something called a language proficiency test that language teachers must sit and meet a minimum requirement on before they are hired (if they are hired prior to meeting the requirement, these teachers must do so within the 1st year of their employment)...exceptions to this rule is if 1) you hold a degree in English language studies, literature, etc. AND 2) have experience teaching English as a second language at a school

    for NET teachers - the job requirement is... 1) a degree in English language studies, etc. 2) have a recognized teaching degree in the equivalent age group you apply for 3) TESL qualification or equivalent.

    it is stipulate that if applicants cannot be found with the above qualifications, the requirements are in fact lowered to the minimum of 1) teachers cert (that includes 2 year of full time study) and 2) TESL...these teachers though are NOT hired under the same package as though meeting the job requirements as stated in the first list of job requirements.

    so - your pay reflects your standard of education (on paper at least).

    it does in fact state on the education bureau's website that:

    Non-native speakers of English, i.e. people who have not acquired the language in early childhood, are also suitable for employment as NETs if their English competence is not different from that of native-speakers in terms of fluency, accuracy and creativity in language use

    it is perhaps the Chinese parents liking "gweilo" faces so that NETs hired are mostly caucasian or at the very least not people will black hair - even though they may speak fluent English and be brought up say in the US.

  6. #102
    TheQuasimother is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by bryant.english View Post
    Where do you get off saying this, it's simply not true!
    I think it's more accurate to say that 'it's simply increasingly not true'.

    I know people (from AmyH's part of HK) who are native to non-English speaking countries in Europe who have NEVER lived in an English speaking country or educated in an English speaking institution but are Caucasians with a TESOL certificate (or without) who teach at a prominent language school for children, adults and those interested in pursuing TESOL as a career and are well paid!

    Over the last 4 years, the situation has improved but to say that it doesn't happen any longer is not true.
    “If you want to get to the castle, you’ve got to swim the moat.” Richard Jenkins in Eat Pray Love

  7. #103
    bryant.english is offline Registered User
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    Okay, I'm just going to add one more thing because threads like this upset me to be honest. I have lived in the UK, Denmark and Sweden and I can assure you that ESL is more widely taught by non-qualified teachers in those countries than it is here and that it is ESL that's being spoken about here, not general teaching. Please don't suffer from any delusions that the situation is worse here. Not saying it can't be better, just hate the way the OP started this thread and so many people who obviously don't know the difference between a school and a tutorial centre, a teacher and an ESL tutor - this makes a mockery of the bloody good teachers who worked hard for their qualifications working their butts off all over Hong Kong every day.

  8. #104
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    I have to say also that there are a lot of "qualified English teachers" in Hong Kong who are TERRIBLE at teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). You need SPECIFIC training and experience in teaching ESL to do well as an English teacher here in Hong Kong. There are many teachers who have teaching certificates and master's degrees and 20 years of experience who land here in Hong Kong to teach English and they are completely flustered by the system here because they have absolutely no ESL experience. The way one teaches English to non-native speakers is almost completely different than he or she would teach English in his or her native (English-speaking) country. So, these super qualified teachers come into the system here and try to do what worked back in their own country and meet with a lot of resistance if not failure. I've met teachers who come from these types of backgrounds who were indignant and angry because the government required them to get TESL-certified in order to keep on teaching in HK because they thought with all their years of experience they already knew how to teach. ESL is a completely different scenario, however.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
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