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roddy

You'll never believe these 8 incredible signs your Chinese teacher isn't very good

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Koxinga

I don't have a teacher, but I've had various people, including teachers, help me out.

 

It annoys me to no end when I ask if something is correct, and they answer something along the lines of 已經很好了 instead of 我看/聽得懂你的意思,但說ZYX比較好. I often have to follow up with 臺灣人平常會這麼說嗎?

 

One day I will be able to afford a real teacher :D

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roddy

Maybe you can just change your question? Instead of asking "Is this correct?" ask them how they'd say it first. Ideally, before you've said anything in the first place, so they don't just say "Oh, we say what you just said."

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xuefang

Sent to Facebook, waiting for it going viral and Chinese-Forums becoming the best known forum out there... wait! Isn't it already!

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Koxinga

roddy, if I don't tell them what I want to say, how would they know what I want to say in the first place? :D

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roddy

A: When the bus is busy and I need to get off, I say 'Excuse me, please let me past'. Is that right?

B: I guess. People will understand you.

A: Hey, if you're on the bus and it's really crowded, what do you say to get to the door?

B: Hmm, let me think. I guess we'd say...

or

A: Man, the bus was really busy today and I couldn't get off at my stop. It was embarassing, I couldn't think of the right thing to say...

B: Oh, you should have said...

There's still a tendency to give foreigners more polite language than is actually used, but you can at least stop them confirming your best guesses. And this is a bad example, as the obvious way to do this is to listen to what other people on the bus do.

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realmayo

Best one-on-one teacher I ever had wrote down everything new he taught me, then for the next lesson prepared a bundle of questions requiring me to reproduce those things. Very motivating, partly because I knew that he had spent time between the lessons working on it, so I felt obliged to take notes of what he taught me during the class and then revise them before the next one.

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Ruben von Zwack

I would totally post it on Facebook, pin it on pinterest, and share it on tumblr, just one little thing, could you songify the dialogues? Or is songify so 2012 already... Then instead, maybe we could get a Bad Laoshi meme?

 

Ohh, actually I have one to add:

 

8.)  Using English words here and there when talking to me, the student, in Chinese sentences. Why???

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Lu

9) 'We just don't say it that way' or not explaining why a certain particle is in this sentence.

Ok this is actually me, with my current language exchange. I did warn her before we started that I am not a teacher and won't be able to explain the finer grammar points to her. I'll keep this list in mind, see how I can improve what I do. (She on the other hand doesn't really study between our meetings, but that's on her.)

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ChTTay

I think even the best teachers can make the number (3) mistake on occasion. It's an easy trap to fall into. My tutor has done it very occasionally but usually only when pressed for time or when she has veered far off topic. I can't remember the last time it happened only that it has happened.

When teaching, i have also caught myself asking this question then quickly asking follow up questions to check students actually get it.

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imron
Right, there's now no way this can't go viral.

It just needs this..

 

Chinese teachers hate him!

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hedwards

@Roddy, I think most of that applies to just about any subject. Teaching language involves certain tweaks and techniques that don't always apply to other subjects, but this list pretty much applies to any subject.

 

Constant praise is mainly a problem when there's no correction going on and it's glossing over the mistakes being made. But in general there should be about 2 or 3 times as much praise as correction, at least until students have reached the point where they're conversing without too much trouble.

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Demonic_Duck

Sequel suggestion: fix your tones with this one weird old trick the Chinese teaching industry doesn't want you to know.

 

8.)  Using English words here and there when talking to me, the student, in Chinese sentences. Why???

Ugh, I hate this. Normally the culprits seem to be grammar words, which I guess Chinese teachers just assume us students would never bother to learn.

 

More annoying still is when the teacher just uses an English word for a definition without trying to explain it in Chinese first. The worst is when s/he doesn't just say the word directly, but spells it out orally or writes it on the board, with the explanation “就是这个”. It seems like a half-assed and mildly patronising way to skirt around a "no English" policy.

 

That said, I think there's a place in the classroom for usage of English/other L1s when a) the class is beginner level, or b) the teacher has already tried to explain the word in question using suitably graded Chinese but has not been understood by some/all learners (for example, if a word used in a text is one that the learners don't yet have the conceptual framework to support in Chinese).

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hedwards

@Ruben, the technical term for using English words in Chinese sentences is code switching and there's nothing inherently evil about it, unless it's being done too much and without any effort to stretch the vocabulary. Particularly early on when a student has a very small amount of vocabulary, it's often times more practical to spread the grammar around using filler materials so that the student can get a chance to try and express things that they don't yet have vocabulary to cover. Even just using sentences completely composed of English words using Chinese grammatical conventions has its place, albeit rarely.

 

I don't generally suggest doing that with students, but it's definitely a useful tool when you're looking to gain fluency when you're talking with somebody that knows some of your native language. You can focus on building the fluency and communicative competence rather than having to run back to the dictionary constantly or avoid talking about certain things. And often times, they can give you the correct Chinese word rather than one that translates more superficially.

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陳德聰

Nice!

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Ruben von Zwack

In my case, I meant the inherently evil :wink:

 

Does Shao Lan count as a Chinese teacher? I'm in a Meme frenzy now and digged up our topic about her TED presentation and book.

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Meng Lelan
I was seriously considering having a word with him and pointing this out, but I left before the teacher did. 

 

 

Have a word with the teacher too. Would be a learning experience. 

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abcdefg

Good tips from @Tysond, above in #19.

 

I've had several teachers say things like 有点不太对 when I've absolutely butchered some new word, phrase or grammar point. Not wanting to offend is deeply ingrained by the culture.

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