Does this person look like they will agree with me? Probably not, right? They don't look particularly happy about anything.
A Conversation with Someone who Disagrees (vi)
Let us continue our imaginary conversation with that person who strongly disagrees with everything I have said. They are like the picture above, and they certainly don’t look happy, right? I will list their comments, and give my answers.
Their 7th Comment
I don’t need a teacher to teach me English or vocabulary. My teacher shows me “how to get the answers in IELTS.”
And why are you attacking him/her?
You have to be very cautious about any teacher’s claim about ‘magic techniques’ to get ‘answers’. Many teachers only want to get your money, and will say anything to get it. Can I quote one students who came to us.
“My teacher said I could learn how to get the answers. But I couldn’t understand anything, and I couldn’t get any answers. Then I was told to keep doing more courses. When I eventually did the test I got a low IELTS mark. Now I realise I was tricked.”
Yes, tricked out of a lot of money (about $60,000 NT). Unfortunately, IELTS Preparation is an industry where big money can easily be gained by false promises and trickery. The truth is, in the IELTS test, “getting the answers” comes from being better at English. Yes, there are tips and strategies (and I teach those), but all these tips and strategies rest on the foundation of being better at English.
Your job is to assess the claims of any teacher, and use your common sense, and think very carefully. The three most important rules are …
- check the credentials of that teacher,
- ask for proof of these credentials (since any person these days can claim any qualification, right),
- watch out for all the danger signs of bad teaching practices [and you can check some of my other pixnet entries for those – look for ‘Tricks to Watch Out For’], or go to ...
Posts 33 – 35 Five Signs of a Fake Teacher,
… and …
Posts 36 – 43 Six Signs Which Should Make You Worried.
As this is only Post 21 (as I type right now), you will have to wait for these posts (which will eventually come in the near future - so be patient).
Moving on to the second comment: “And why are you attacking my teacher?”, my reply is that I am not targeting any specific person, but only explaining what you need to look for in a good teacher, and helping you to understand the nature of language-learning so that you, the consumer, can be better informed, and thus more intelligent. That's very good for you, and you should be happy. I am not ‘attacking’, I am ‘informing’ and ‘educating’. Those are good qualities. I am only thinking of you. Maybe you should be thanking me for this.
However, obviously any ‘teachers’ who ...
- don’t follow any TEFL-recognised method of teaching,
- do fit any accepted model of good language teaching,
- use deceit as a basis to their marketing,
- are deliberately tricking you,
... will all feel ‘attacked’. But I am not focusing on anyone specifically, just that type of teacher, and the nature of the teaching industry generally. And I have a right to do this, right?
A final thought is that, if your teacher is truly decent and honourable (and I hope they are), then they should agree wholeheartedly with all these thoughts. Decent teachers want the best for you; decent teachers want to teach in a way that helps their students. The point is, if you have a teacher who doesn't like my comments, it is a VERY dangerous sign. My comments are based on (1) good sense, (2) obvious logic, (3) TEFL research and theory, and (4) a regard for the students. Anyone who disagrees with me just doesn't have some or all of these 1 - 4 qualities. And that should start you thinking, right? It should start you thinking very carefully indeed.
We will look at two more (critical) comments in the next post.
Now, check that you know the meaning of the underlined vocabulary (also repeated below).
- to be cautious (adj)
- a technique (n)
- a strategy (n)
- credentials (n)
- to target (v)
- to focus (v)
- wholeheartedly (adv)
If you want to find out more about me, go to aisielts.com .