eslHQ Home
User Name Password
Lost Password? | Join eslHQ.com, it's FREE!
View today's posts
Search Extras Help   

Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 24th, 2008, 09:17 pm
EngliPatrick's Avatar
eslHQ Addict
 
Join Date: Oct 18th, 2007
Location: Japan
Posts: 267
EngliPatrick is on a distinguished road
Default Students questioning the English textbook

I teach in Japan public schools as an assistant English teacher. We have to use the English textbooks that have been okayed by the Japanese government.

Problems can potentially arise when these textbooks' English goes into the 'questionable' area and there are bi-lingual/tri-lingual students in the classroom.

The other day, one of these students questioned a certain passage in the textbook. It read, "The people can go to market and buy food." He said it sounds more natural to say, "The people can go to THE market and buy food."

I totally agree with him that inserting "the" sounds better but leaving it out also seems acceptable.

So, here's the question. Should students who have a firm grasp of the English language be forced to sit in the EFL classroom with the rest of their peers?
__________________
ENGLIPEDIA
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 25th, 2008, 03:23 am
eslHQ superstar!
 
Join Date: Mar 27th, 2005
Location: Japan
Posts: 1,693
mesmark is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Students questioning the English textbook

Yeah, if they go to a public school. (In Japan English is a compulsory subject.) As a tax payer, I don't feel it's important to cater to them. If their parents don't want them sitting in an English class wasting their time, that's their decision to make.

I'm in that boat. My kids will be going to at least JHS here in the local community and they'll have to sit through English classes. I don't expect the school to make special provisions for my kids.

What about the kids that go to cram schools and have already learned anything the math teacher might have to say? Should they have to sit through class as well? ... My answer is yes.

It may be a good exercise for them to understand that their English isn't the rule. I've found what I thought to be structuraly irregular senteces in textbooks and then Google them, only to find I was wrong. Plenty of people say it that way.

It's definitely hard to have a several line dialog or story at beginner levels without requiring a little leeway with tenses or wording. For an English conversation class, the textbook is just a springboard anyway. It's up to the teacher to teach and provide an environment for the students to acquire (natural) use of the language.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 25th, 2008, 04:44 am
Sue
 
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
Posts: 1,406
susan53 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Students questioning the English textbook

I differ a bit from Mark. Surely the public education system has the responsibility to educate every child, including those of immigrants, and not just nationals? In England for example, where Chinese is now frequently taught at High School, mother tongue Chinese kids can now do a GCSE course and exam for Chinese native speakers while the other kids do a Chinese as a Foreign Language. And as for the tax payer's money - don't the parents of those kids pay taxes too? I've been paying taxes in Italy for 30 years. Shouldn't I get equal return for my money as everyone else?

We now live in a multi-cultural world, and education systems everywhere have to cope with the fact that more and more they're going to have to provide the chance for bilingual kids to develop their mother tongue identity as well as integrate into the host country. Then of course there's also the problem of the immigrant kids who weren't born in the country and don't speak the language at all. They too need special attention, even more so than the others. There's a public school here in Milan where 80% of the kids are not Italian.

Here the education copes totally inadequately with the second situation and virtually ignores the first. There's one public elementary school in Florence where Arabic speaking kids are now taught to read and write in Arabic, in extra lessons after school hours - the result of enormous pressure from the very large Arabic community here.

My son, who's completely bilingual, does just sit through the English lessons and I'm resigned to the fact. But it doesn't bother him and at least we know there's one subject where he'll come home with straight As ... His teacher this year has said she will give him something different to do. we'll see ...

One other issue is when the kids have non-native speaker teachers who don't have a particularly good grasp of the language (which is understandable) and don't have the humility to recognise it (which is not). A British friend of mine has had real problems with a teacher who constantly "corrects" her daughter's work incorrectly, and then gives her low marks. Low marks in Italy, even in one subject, now mean repeating the whole year, so it's not just something you can shrug your shoulders at. (Clive, if you're reading this, you have this to come ....)

If it were me, personally I would give the kids something different to do at most points in the lesson, while unashamedly using them in others. I'd differentiate homework too. Asking the kids to fill out exercises in English File really is a waste of everyone's time.
__________________
An ELT Notebook
The DELTA Course
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 25th, 2008, 08:25 am
eslHQ superstar!
 
Join Date: Mar 27th, 2005
Location: Japan
Posts: 1,693
mesmark is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Students questioning the English textbook

I think what Patrick is talking about are Japanese nationals that have been abroad and returned. I could see after school lessons or something for a community with a large foreign community like the Arabian example in Italy, but would that be the school's responsibility? How would they handle the curriculum set out by the province or country?

If Arabic was a compulsory subject for graduation in Italian schools would the Arabian children be able to skip it? Would the school be required to offer something other than a beginner course?

In Japan high school and junior high school classes all move together from subject to subject. For that reason, grades don't mix and people can't take different level classes.There are also (for the most part) no elective classes. They have introduced the concept, but right now for elective classes they can just choose from the core subjects during those elective periods. So, they can choose to have extra math classes or extra English classes ...

I can totaly see some of those kids getting picked on by jealous teachers. I imagine it's not an uncommon occurance in this kind of situation.

I do agree that Patrick's teachers should give the kids something else to do. Or allow those children's parents to provide materials for them to do instead of the school curriculum, but that opens up the school to a lot of problems. Why just these kids? Why not my kids? My kids don't need to sit through that lousy math teacher's class ...

I'm not saying I like it. Of course I wish my kids could do something productive with their time (when the times comes) but I think they'll have to sit through those classes and I don't expect the schools allow my children to skip out, nor do I think the teachers should have to prepare special lessons just for my kids.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 25th, 2008, 11:41 am
Sue
 
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
Posts: 1,406
susan53 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Students questioning the English textbook

No, I don't think you can expect teachers to prepare special lessons either - unless they're paid for it of course. But they could at least tell them to bring a book to read and then to write a book report. Or show and tell/ research a talk on a topic that fits in with the class textbook to present to the other kids - who get the listening comprehension practice. Would have to be handled sensitively though ...

Interesting question about the Arabic situation. I've discovered that here Arabic is taught as a foreign language in some high schools though it's fairly novel. The "Linguistic" High Schools take a third foreign language, and Arabic is the third popular after Chinese and Japanese. And according to a news article on one of the schools that do it, in one of the classes there were some Arabic speaking kids. But it wasn't clear if they'd chosen to be there or not.
__________________
An ELT Notebook
The DELTA Course
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 25th, 2008, 11:48 am
Sue
 
Join Date: Oct 8th, 2006
Location: Milan
Posts: 1,406
susan53 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Students questioning the English textbook

I've just thought. To me, I'm going to market sounds a bit old-fashioned, mainly because it gives the idea I'm going there to sell - eggs, or the pig or something. When I nip down to our local street market on Fridays to get my fruit and veg, I definitely say I'm going to the market.

Anybody else?
__________________
An ELT Notebook
The DELTA Course
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 25th, 2008, 05:54 pm
eslHQ superstar!
 
Join Date: Mar 27th, 2005
Location: Japan
Posts: 1,693
mesmark is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Students questioning the English textbook

yeah, I agree. I think that may have just been a typo.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads Replies
5 Steps to an English Only Classroom 29
Public schoools, Good private institutes, Couple positions, Gyopo positions.. 1
Teach and Live in South Korea. Recommended private institute and public schools! 0
Seoul, Bundang, Suwon, Incheon, Daegu, Daejeon, Ansan, Changwon, Gangneung and more! 0
Prepaid Flights + FREE Housing – Teach in Korea with Tiger English 0

Find the Best TEFL, TESL, TESOL & CELTA Certification Courses - User Submitted Ratings & Reviews for Online, Distance & Abroad TEFL Courses. Over 3,500 reviews of 100+ TEFL schools!

Teach English in Thailand - Onsite and Combined TEFL certification courses in Phuket, Thailand.


Free ESL Flashcards


Similar Threads Replies
5 Steps to an English Only Classroom 29
Public schoools, Good private institutes, Couple positions, Gyopo positions.. 1
Teach and Live in South Korea. Recommended private institute and public schools! 0
Seoul, Bundang, Suwon, Incheon, Daegu, Daejeon, Ansan, Changwon, Gangneung and more! 0
Prepaid Flights + FREE Housing – Teach in Korea with Tiger English 0


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:26 am.

All materials from this website are for classroom-use only. Digital redistribution of materials, in part or in whole, is strictly forbidden!

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2