(31 of 50) MODERN LANGUAGE TEACHING (CLT) & TAIWAN: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT IT
About Fake Teachers of IELTS/English: Introduction VI
In my last post, I wrote,
‘Can everyone at least accept that there are frauds out there, and that they are actively operating? It is simple a fact of life, right?’
Interestingly, in the news recently there was a story about 50 people, mostly Taiwanese, performing some sort of telephone scam operation in Poland [Huh? Why there?]. They have all been arrested, and are on their way back to face the music. This is why in the previous post, I also concluded,
‘Therefore, surely we must all accept that it would be naive and foolish to blindly believe any person to whom you give large amounts of money.’
But there’s a problem, and in this post I’d like to explore it.
You Can’t Criticise Teachers, Right?
I advise all my students to always ask to see the qualifications of anyone who claims to be a teacher of IELTS/English. I ask them to dispute impossible claims such as, “I guarantee IELTS 7” or “I can predict the questions in the IELTS test” or “I’m the director of Cambridge ESL”. I tell the students to ask, “How can you do that?” and ask a lot of “Can you show me proof of …” questions. But the response I often hear from my students is,
‘In this culture, we can’t ask a teacher those questions.’
But unfortunately, as I have explained, you need to ask those questions [and please ask me those questions, or just click on Teacher Andrew’s Credentials]. If you can’t ask your teacher those questions, then I have to ask you the same questions.
How can you be really sure your teacher or school isn’t one of those ‘fake teachers’?
But then students say to me,
‘But Andrew, Taiwanese people do not like hearing criticisms of their teachers. In this culture, they must respect teachers.’
So, this is obviously a very sensitive issue, and a big problem for you. What's the right way, and what's the wrong way? [Well, there's the link to the picture up the top, right?] The problem lies in the fact that (1) there are many dubious teachers around, but (2) Taiwanese students feel too embarrassed to ask for proof of credentials, or even listen to criticism of these teachers. So, what do you do? What's right; what's wrong?
My reply is this.
The right way is to show respect for teachers if these people are teachers – real or not-real! But are they?
The last question is the key! Please show respect if your teachers are sincere individuals genuinely trying to help you? This means you can even respect ‘not-real teachers’, since at least they think they are helping you, so their hearts are in the right place. Sometimes it isn’t their fault that they have not been trained in TEFL theory and methodology, and don’t know the best methods to use. They just never had the opportunity or life experience to become informed about language-learning. But at least they are trying to help you, and yes, that deserves respect.
But, again, the big question is, is that person a real/not-real teacher?
I want to ask you all two questions in return. Here they are.
What are your answers to these questions? They should be NO and NO.
Go back and read the previous Posts 26 and 27, and ask yourself, do you respect that person I described (and remember, that post is based on a real example who tricked large amounts of money out of very many people)?
So, to anyone who says, ‘You can’t criticise teachers’, my reply is this.
- These people are NOT teachers!
- Do not respect these people!
- To repeat, they are not teachers!
- They are bad people doing bad things!
- You are the one who pays a high price!
- You pay the price because you don’t ask the key questions or read the key signs.
The next post will cover the final background issue about the ‘being fake/not-real’ issue, as well as introducing the first sign that you need to know.
Now, check that you know the meaning of the underlined vocabulary (also repeated below).
- a scam (n)
- to face the music (v phrase; idiomatic)
- to be sincere (adj)
- to be genuine (adj)
- to manipulate (v)
If you want to find out more about me, go to aisielts.com .