“I never taught at home, but from my student days, I remember there was much more back and forth between the students and teachers. Students weren't afraid to ask questions or give an opinion. Here, classes can seem more passive and students sometimes are more used to receiving what we may perceive as a lecture rather than an interactive class”.
“Be careful of a possible problem: sometimes one student does all the talking and the rest of the class comes to assume that that one person will answer your questions, thus freeing them of any need or obligation to speak."
“They were all very polite and happy just to speak with me. They’re very concerned to be able to hold a conversation with a ‘native speaker’. I think students in the west (and I’ve previously taught in two western countries) are not as courteous or friendly to a newcomer.”
“This can be because one student may have much more confidence in their speaking ability.”
“Breaking up friendship groups and sprinkling the competent speakers throughout the new groups helped a lot, as did giving them solidly-defined tasks. Simply saying "talk about sports" had them lost. The students I had seemed to feel more comfortable when the teacher acted with a strong sense of leadership.”
“Students in China have a thirst for knowledge concerning the west. This is encouraging but concerning because of the protective environment. In the UK, students are encouraged to learn. In China, students are told to learn.”
“Chinese students work harder but do not have much optimism regarding their potential. For example, biology in China is considered impractical when searching for employment.”
“Many students didn’t understand me; be prepared to talk more slowly, louder and more precisely.”
“Students are easily impressed by your ‘foreignness’. Can talk more about what happens in your own country that is different from China. Many students seem to work hard but there’s little improvement in the end. A lot less lesson preparation!”
“The students were co-operative and enthusiastic, actually standing up and clapping when I first arrived. Though they were obedient and passive at times and I missed the critical thinking and creativity of my Canadian students.”
“Walking into the classroom for the first time, I was warmly welcomed by each and every student. For some of them, I was their first ever-foreign teacher and one of the first they had ever even seen.”
“It was difficult for me to get to know the other Chinese English-speaking teachers. They seemed afraid to speak to me and were insecure about their English, but when I did make a few friends they would ask me for advice. It is certainly worth the effort”