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Old 07-17-2016, 02:57 AM
 
53 posts, read 35,813 times
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I am a Hong Kong raised person, this is just an interesting question.


I think most people here want to learn a language other than Chinese, but their English level will hinder their understanding and communication with a foreign teacher.


That's why many parents nowadays are looking for Chinese who can teach English and other languages instead, coz the kids and parents are bad in English.


Same reason employees are hiring Indonesian and Chinese domestic workers instead of Filipinos. As most filipinos cannot understand Cantonese or Chinese. And the employees' English level is bad.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:13 AM
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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In my experience here in Canada... The problem is that Chinese students who are taught English by a teacher who is NOT a native English speaker....Will adopt the accent of that teacher. The result is people who THINK that they are speaking English... but in reality they are at best, making a muddle of it.


I have had the difficult experience of trying to communicate with shop keepers here in Toronto, who cannot speak at even a basic level of English, but they are trying to operate a retail store in a city with English as the "working language ". In one case the store owner brought out a child of about 10 years old, to try to manage a translation of what I wanted to buy. The child was one of their kids.


Jim B.
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:08 AM
 
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If you already have a decent understanding of English language, it's not hard to learn from a teacher who doesn't speak your native language. In the worst case, you can ask him/her to write down the unfamiliar word and look it up.

Kids learn languages in a totally different way.

Hong Kong has always intrigued me. In theory, Hong Kong residents should be fluent in Mandarin, English and Cantonese. But it seems that most people are only comfortable with Cantonese.
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Old 07-17-2016, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Taipei
6,812 posts, read 5,184,373 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bayesian View Post
In theory, Hong Kong residents should be fluent in Mandarin, English and Cantonese. But it seems that most people are only comfortable with Cantonese.
Why should they be fluent in all three? Cantonese is their native language, the other two are just bonus.
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Old 07-17-2016, 06:31 PM
 
25,059 posts, read 23,312,398 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadian citizen View Post
In my experience here in Canada... The problem is that Chinese students who are taught English by a teacher who is NOT a native English speaker....Will adopt the accent of that teacher. The result is people who THINK that they are speaking English... but in reality they are at best, making a muddle of it.


I have had the difficult experience of trying to communicate with shop keepers here in Toronto, who cannot speak at even a basic level of English, but they are trying to operate a retail store in a city with English as the "working language ". In one case the store owner brought out a child of about 10 years old, to try to manage a translation of what I wanted to buy. The child was one of their kids.


Jim B.
Most English teachers in the world aren't native speakers my German teacher was an American. As long as the teacher is fluent in the grammar and vocabulary, it's not an issue. Oftentimes a foreign English teacher knows grammar better than native speakers. Especially in Asia, where English "teachers" are oftentimes just tutors, not actual teachers (and not good ones at that)
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Old 07-17-2016, 07:23 PM
 
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I think that the best foreign language teacher is always going to be someone who is:

1. formally trained in teaching that language to persons who speak another language
2. a native speaker of the language that s/he is teaching with the accent that the student wants to attain


Even though this list is short, it is often hard to find someone who meets both criteria. Depending on the quality of the training the teacher may be "good enough" for a particular student but it is never ideal.

Also, it is irrelevant if the non-native teacher knows grammar better than the native. That may be useful in some situations but the goal is almost always to speak the language like the native even if that means using imperfect grammar. I am learning multiple languages and I have discovered that what you learn from your textbook is often language that is NEVER used by native speakers.
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:03 PM
 
53 posts, read 35,813 times
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I have been asked by foreigners in HK to helped them find students.


I told them this is going to be a bit difficult, as most teens and kids I know are from poorer or middle class families, are not good in English, and prefer a HK Chinese to teach them English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Korean etc due to no language barriers and cheaper fees charged.


Native speaking teachers charge much more expensively than the Cantonese speaking teacher who have studied or lived for a long time in an overseas country. For example, a Japanese charges more than a HK Chinese who have lived in Japan for 10 years. But he or she can only teaches in Japanese or English. Not suitable for most people in HK. My first and second Japanese teachers were HK Cantonese speaker and native English speaker from the US.


I remember too when I was in a government primary school in HK, there were no teachers from overseas. The first foreign teachers I had was in senior secondary school. I think it is the same all over Asia. Most primary schools do not have foreign teachers.
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:10 PM
 
53 posts, read 35,813 times
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The ultimate goal of language teachers is to prepare the students for a language test or university entrance exams.


And yes, most language teachers as a second language are not native speakers. Native speaking teachers are more expensive and will have communication and cultural issues when they first arrived. It will cost the fee payers, governments or parents, a lot, if all language teachers are native speakers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by theunbrainwashed View Post
Most English teachers in the world aren't native speakers my German teacher was an American. As long as the teacher is fluent in the grammar and vocabulary, it's not an issue. Oftentimes a foreign English teacher knows grammar better than native speakers. Especially in Asia, where English "teachers" are oftentimes just tutors, not actual teachers (and not good ones at that)
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Old 07-23-2016, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Austin
12,362 posts, read 7,039,857 times
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I can't answer your question, but I taught English as a volunteer teacher in America to immigrant Koreans, Chinese, South Americans, Russians, etc for several years. My students started my classes with no English. I will share that teaching ESL, with very motivated students, was so much fun, but lots and lots of work to prepare lessons! All my students spoke English eventually very well and with a Texas accent!
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Old 07-24-2016, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Macao
15,959 posts, read 36,342,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fayewongfan View Post
I am a Hong Kong raised person, this is just an interesting question.


I think most people here want to learn a language other than Chinese, but their English level will hinder their understanding and communication with a foreign teacher.


That's why many parents nowadays are looking for Chinese who can teach English and other languages instead, coz the kids and parents are bad in English.


Same reason employees are hiring Indonesian and Chinese domestic workers instead of Filipinos. As most filipinos cannot understand Cantonese or Chinese. And the employees' English level is bad.
I've been teaching English in Asia for many years.

In general, a good teacher can teach at the level of the student. If the student has an extremely low level of English, it is very easy to teach English with just a very simple book with a lot of pictures and props.

But, in general, most students study with teachers of their own language, and they can explain all the intricacies of the grammar, etc. in the native language. Once students get to a certain level though, it is much better if they use a native english speaker.

The larger problem with languages though, is most Asian students who study English, don't put much effort into learning. They just attend classes in school, do the minimum amount of work possible, and even when in the classroom, don't put much effort either. Its only when a student puts effort in, will they get something out.

A great teacher can do little for a student who puts nothing into the lessons. On the other hand, a student who puts a lot into the lessons, can get a lot out of a lesson, even from a bad teacher.
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