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MOE says Native English teachers needed!

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k1w1
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Postby k1w1 » Thu, 22 Jun 2006 10:10 am

jpatokal wrote:
Did your parents teach you English with a blackboard, verb conjugations and grammar exercises? I'd presume that they didn't, instead they talked to you at home "normally" and you picked it up as you grew up. Well, surprise surprise, that's also how Singaporeans learn Singlish at home.


We all learn our mother tongue because it is a necessary requirement for communication. We learned to speak because we needed to tell our families that we were hungry, thirsty, tired etc. Motivation, if you like, comes from the fact that we worked out what everyone was doing and knew we had to follow suit to get what we wanted. Grammar, reading and writing come much later, but for similar reasons. Hence why kids are happy to read comic books but are a little less interested in their science textbooks.

We can all debate whether Singlish is a language in its own right till we're blue in the face. It doesn't change the fact that your average Joe Tan still wants to go overseas to study at university, or work as a new graduate, or travel etc. Singapore is not an isolated place so setting the next generation up to have serious communication problems when they do embark on these journeys is not only pointless, but hard to justify. Most people here are not going to make their livings as rappers or Gurmit-style comedians - nor do they want to. The day that schools here teach a grammar lesson on the correct use of "Lah" or "Meh" is the day I hang up my hat.

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Postby HB » Sun, 25 Jun 2006 10:22 pm

k1w1 wrote:
Oh and one more point - teaching children who sit quietly, do their homework, have enormous pressure to perform well (and don't just flip the bird at it!) and are genuinely concerned about their progress is NOWHERE NEAR the stress that your average teacher faces in state schools in their home country. For those reasons, the MOE is going to have them lining up to get here. In fact, they already are...



correct me if i'm wrong, but are u saying that all singaporean school children "sit quietly, do their homework, have enormous pressure to perform well (and don't just flip the bird at it!) and are genuinely concerned about their progress"
because if u are, then that is bollocks...have u ever been to a neighbourhood school?

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Postby k1w1 » Mon, 26 Jun 2006 8:03 am

Yes, I have. Do you think that "trouble" only happens in neighbourhood schools? No, I'm not saying that all kids sit quietly etc - but certainly those traits are seen in over half my students (some of who go to "neighbourhood" schools)... However, I have yet to pass through a metal detector before going into school or teach in a playground with barbed wire round the top of the fence, which many of my colleagues have done in their home countries.

Yes, I have picked out the two opposite extremes as examples and yes, I am aware of it.
Please - are you trying to make a point? Way to focus on the red herring :roll: Was there anything else I said that was remotely contentious or was that it?

I was simply pointng out why Native English teachers are already accepting job offers and getting ready to move over here. Oh, you thought this had only just started? Wrong. Interviews and advertisements for new staff have been going on for a few months. The debate on right now is whether teaching in Singapore is a decent job or not. I say "Yes".

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Postby HB » Mon, 26 Jun 2006 1:46 pm

what do u do?
do u teach at a neighbourhood school?
do u even teach at a school?

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Postby earthfriendly » Mon, 26 Jun 2006 2:28 pm

Wow, now I re-read, the problem so bad huh? Must be an uphill battle trying to teach English in SG. Kiwi, was it easier teaching English in Japan since you start with a blank canvas, as Japanese don't speak English amongst themselves?

Hang in there, the future of English lies in the hands of teachers like you :o .
Last edited by earthfriendly on Tue, 27 Jun 2006 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Mon, 26 Jun 2006 5:35 pm

it's nice to hear the perspective of a 'native english teacher' living in singapore. moreover k1w1 is exhibiting patience and courtesy, and is addressing the topic under discussion. i think HB could learn more than just english from her example.

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Postby k1w1 » Mon, 26 Jun 2006 9:19 pm

earthfriendly wrote:Wow, now I re-read, the problem so bad huh? Must be an uphill battle trying to teach English in SG. Kiwi, was it easier teaching English in Japan since you start with a blank canvas, as Japanese don't speak English amongst themselves?

Hang in there, the future of English lies in the hands of teachers like you :o .


Ah, not sure how to take that EF...

Um, not sure why you are using that word or why you used a shocked face at the end of that statement saying the future lies in my hands - kind of implies that the future is stuffed if I'm anywhere near it. Ouch.

And yes, EF, for some kids here - the problem is bad.

As WIMH noted earlier, intelligence and language ability are two very different things, but are commonly blurred. The last thing I want you to assume is that I feel superior in any way to the people I work with - could not be further from the truth.

I can't compare it to Japan, as the situation is completely different: they don't speak English at all, as you say, but they bring different cultural perspectives to the classroom too which greatly influences the way we learn languages (positive and negative, of course). Not forgetting either that teachers bring their own cultural biases into the class too... It took me a long time to work out that it was unnerving for my Japanese students when I looked at them directly in the eye - that to me is a sign of honesty and trustworthiness but for them it was agressive and even intrusive. Similarly, for a long time I felt very nervous here when parents would stop me in the hallways or come to see me after class to discuss the lesson for that day. I felt judged and confronted, but now I realise most of these parents are simply eager to follow up with something at home and usually are very interested to hear my feedback about their child moreso when it is something that they can do to help too...

Truly, I don't know how I would feel about someone discussing issues like this regarding New Zealanders, so I understand that this is not just a conversational topic for you guys to muse. It cuts a lot closer than that - something I guess I need to keep at the fore of my mind when I respond to these topics. I apologise if I have made you feel belittled or insulted - not my intention at all.

My local counterparts are licking their wounds right now. Best I keep my white-faced opinions to myself for a while I think.
Last edited by k1w1 on Tue, 27 Jun 2006 8:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby earthfriendly » Tue, 27 Jun 2006 3:01 pm

k1w1 wrote:
earthfriendly wrote:Wow, now I re-read, the problem so bad huh? Must be an uphill battle trying to teach English in SG. Kiwi, was it easier teaching English in Japan since you start with a blank canvas.

Hang in there, the future of English lies in the hands of teachers like you :o .


Ah, not sure how to take that EF...

A "mutant" form of English? Um, not sure why you are using that word or why you used a shocked face at the end of that statement saying the future lies in my hands - kind of implies that the future is stuffed if I'm anywhere near it. Ouch.



That was pretty harsh term. I just edited my post. Sorry to the Singers who might have read the original post. If you will kindly edit yours, kiwi.

Kiwi,that’s not what I intended. The emoticon was how I perceive your facial expression would be for mine placing such a huge burden on your shoulder, i.e. to shake up the level of English in SG. You have provided great insight into the inner workings of foreign teachers working in SG. I think these kind of info is beneficial to MOE when they are training the foreign teachers. I also felt very uncomfortable when the ang moh teachers looked me in the eyes. It was quite unnerving for me. Felt like she was mad at me for doing something wrong and wonder if my other classmates felt that way.

Could HB or somebody enlightened me what 's a neighborhood schools? Are you referring to the standard govt. school where subjects are taught in English? Almost everyone I knew attended the govt. school and they were considered the norm. Wealthy and not so wealthy families sent their kids to the same school. Very few locals elected for schools catering to the expat community, even if they could afford it. Is it any different now?

From all the posts, sounds like neighborhood schools are not so desirable? I am only asking questions and really curious. I am not making a statement so please don't spar at me :D .
Last edited by earthfriendly on Fri, 07 Jul 2006 12:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby k1w1 » Tue, 27 Jun 2006 8:32 pm

HB:

I teach local children through a company associated with and based on MOE. As part of this, we travel into local schools and obviously deal with local parents/kids/concerns. We also deal with local teachers. For obvious reasons I would rather not go into any more detail than that.

You must be a rare sight. There are only 40 or so "native" english teachers in secondary schools/JC's here, I recently heard. And in a neighbourhood school too!

By no means am I an expert on this subject - I have only been in this country for a couple of years. I have not professed to be either, so feel free to correct me if you disagree with something I've said, or if I'm wrong. Still not sure what you were asking me to clarify, but I'm pretty sure you were just getting at why I thought I could pass comments and how "qualfied" I was to do so (particularly saying the kids are all angels - as if any kids anywhere are!)... I don't teach in ONE school nor do I only deal with one socio-economic group, so maybe that means I am less qualified to make comments and should keep quiet. Plus, I don't know who reads this board, so I should be a bit careful of incriminating/potentially identifying comments.

Oh, by the way, I'm a woman.

EF:

Singaporean citizens (unless they have a foreign parent, and could therefore take up citizenship with this parent's home country) are not allowed to enrol in schools that cater to expats - International Schools. There are exceptions to this rule, and I have dealt with a few children in this situation, but generally speaking it is not possible for a Singaporean child to go to a non-government school.

Sounds like HB would be the better person to define and describe "neighbourhod" schools for you.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 27 Jun 2006 10:18 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:
HB wrote:do u teach at a neighbourhood school?

all I see is uncapitalized sentences with poor spelling

yes yes, HB you made the unforgiveable mistake of spelling neighbourhood with a "u" which is very unamerican. :lol:

now will you two please kiss and make up?

ps: SMS, all my sentences are uncapitalised. i guess i must be in for a spanking. :mrgreen:


Can't believe it. :cool: You picked up on the "ou" in neighbourhood and I usually use the british spellings for a lot of the words where we have dropped the "U". What "I" was referring to you missed 3 times. How do you spell "you" without using sms'ese or whatever she/he was using. hard to call it sms'ese in this case as OP spelled out the other words. With that in mind I have a bit of a problem taking anything from that poster seriously.. .....

Can I do the spanking? Please, please, please?????? :P

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Wed, 28 Jun 2006 12:33 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Can't believe it. :cool: You picked up on the "ou" in neighbourhood and I usually use the british spellings for a lot of the words where we have dropped the "U". What "I" was referring to you missed 3 times. How do you spell "you" without using sms'ese or whatever she/he was using. hard to call it sms'ese in this case as OP spelled out the other words. With that in mind I have a bit of a problem taking anything from that poster seriously.. .....

Can I do the spanking? Please, please, please?????? :P

"u" is not poor spelling as i see it. it's just laziness and yes, it is sms-ese.

don't know about the spanking... bremen stuck his foot in before you did. :P

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Postby ProvenPracticalFlexible » Wed, 28 Jun 2006 5:32 pm

Getting a little bit confused; :???: why some shorten words or accronyms are acceptable and others not.

For example in a same message writing 'U' instead of You is not acceptable, but then OP obviously is.

Now of course I'm sure we all know that U stands for You, but is OP standard English, well at least I know it stands for Order of Preachers (www.op.org)? :wink:

Actually what I'm coming at is that could it be possible to collect a list of Singapore Specific Accronyms with explanations on this site in one place.
Just because there is a bunch of accronyms used here, which for sure are easy to understand if you lived in Singapore long enough, but new comers trying to find information might get confused with all SPGs, ECPs, PIEs, MRTs etc; at least I am somewhat.

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general

Postby Lost » Thu, 29 Jun 2006 9:51 am

I think that is a great idea: a list of Singapore Specific Accronyms with explanations. Not sure how to go about it, any suggestions?

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Re: general

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 29 Jun 2006 10:03 am

Lost wrote:I think that is a great idea: a list of Singapore Specific Accronyms with explanations. Not sure how to go about it, any suggestions?


Good Morning Lost,

See my thread in the General Forum: Singapore Acronyms posted last night. :?

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general

Postby Lost » Fri, 30 Jun 2006 10:41 am

wow, that was a quick... I humbly thank thee... :) ... now I have no excuse... yikes!


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