Monday, September 21, 2009

If you laugh long enough, it's not an argument.

Recently, my boss has been observing my class. She never did this - not once - the first six months I worked there. I guess she had a change of heart about her supervisory role, which is unfortunate because she likes to translate what I say into Chinese before the kids have a chance to digest the English. Did I mention I'm supposed to teach English?

The following conversation took place yesterday after class. I had one student who failed to answer a question, despite much coaxing and hints. Everyone else answered. I know she understood. She was just gripped with a bout of "I'm so embarrassed I'm going to pretend I don't understand anything you say even if you say it in my native language" - a common affliction among Taiwanese children.

Boss: Maybe next time you just tell her what to say then she can repeat it.

Me: She needs to think for herself.

Boss: But this is how we teach here, even if she doesn't understand, she needs to repeat something.

Me: That's why so many students speak such poor English after studying a long time, they've just been taught to parrot, they can't actually talk.

Boss: This is Taiwan's way.

Me: Well it's a bad way to learn a language.

Boss: Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Me: ha ha ha ha.

Boss: ha ha ha. ha.

Me: ha. ha.

And that was this week's dose of passive aggressive behavior. Stay tuned kids, there's still a few weeks left!

1 comment:

Michael Rettig said...

So, in Taiwan, you can end any argument just by laughing? I wish I'd known that when I was there..