Bad Teaching Trends in Taiwan (1) // About Pairwork


The standard of teaching of IELTS and English in this country is not high. Unfortunately, there are bad trends around simply designed to sound attractive to you. These trends limit your learning, make you lose money, and waste your time. Thus, I would like to try to educate people, and slowly, hopefully, the standard can rise. So, this is the first of the ‘Bad Teaching Trends in Taiwan’.

It must immediately be established that I have the credentials to make these judgements, holding the Cambridge Certificate, and the Cambridge Diploma of Teaching English, and being a Cambridge teacher trainer [that is, I train new teachers in how to teach English as a second language]. Please check my credentials to verify these claims.


Bad Trend (1) // About Pairwork

It seems many IELTS preparation providers are advertising the fact that ‘you don't talk to fellow students; you just talk to the teacher’. Hmmm, anyone who says this is ...

(1) deliberately ignoring (or ignorant of) the most basic principle of language teaching, which is to maximise ‘student talking time’, and to minimise ‘teacher talking time’.

(2) deliberately ignoring (or ignorant of) the fact that in the IELTS Speaking Test, 1/4 of your band score is based on fluency.

Think of learning English as learning to drive a car. You learn it by doing it: that is: driving. Similarly, you learn to speak a language by speaking it – and accuracy is not the most important aspect. If, in a class of 10 students, you talk only to the teacher, then at any time, 9 students are not talking - and that is a sign of a bad class.

[To be continued in the next post]


By the way, here are the answers to the previous post: IELTS Grammar Tip (2).

1. Students at single-gender schools can learn better. 

[or]   Single-gender schools enhance learning.


2. Those learning a new skill have to spend much time. 

[or]   Learning a new skills takes much time.


3. Studying in a single-gender school reduces the chance to fall in love.

[or]   Students who study in a single-gender school have less chance to fall in love.





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