Saturday, October 15, 2005

Week 2 Wid Da New Teach

Tuesday sucked. Wednesday sucked. Thursday sucked. One day one of the Japanese girls actually had her head down on the desk, sleeping, because it was so damned boring. Much of the time the class was just staring at her with the "deer in the headlights" looks, while she did her standard "look at the class and smile brightly, then say 'hao!' and quickly move on" method of teaching. Whenever any of us did ask questions, the answers were either not related to the question (because she didn't understand what was asked) or the explanation was too complicated for our level of Chinese or just simply wasn't enough info. I was getting more answers from the guys who have lived here for years and actually do know spoken Chinese (just not how to read and write, which is why they're in the class) than from the teacher.

Every day I complained to the front desk, sometimes joined by Sam or Midori. Hiyoshi is too polite to complain or to even admit a problem when asked. Midori was only there one day, and she was trying her best to find a class to transfer into. So was Sam, but he can only come 10:00-12:00, and all those classes are full, and he's just dying of boredom in this class. Hiyoshi and I discussed maybe switching to a later class. On Thursday afternoon one of the gals from the front sat in on the class again to monitor things, but it was only for the last 20 minutes of class - she should have tried the first hour and a half.

Yesterday morning when the teacher arrived, there were only three students present (sometimes people don't arrive until 11:00, even though the class starts at 10:00). She asked if there were problems, so I piped up and told her a) I required more information on new words, such as examples of how to use them, not just reading the one sentence the book provided (and that's only for some words, sometimes there's nothing), b) I needed more information on the grammar usage, and that our previous teacher had drawn sentence diagrams on the board and given us various ways to use the grammar, and c) YOU TALK TOO FRIGGIN' FAST AND USE WORDS I'VE NEVER LEARNED SO HOW THE HELL DO YOU THINK I CAN LEARN FROM YOU? Ahem.

Anyway, yesterday was better. For one thing, the annoyingly weird British guy wasn't there, so he couldn't hijack the class for his own purposes - that was a huge plus. And the teacher did make an effort to use the board more, drawing diagrams, etc. And I just kept asking her what words meant when she used them, instead of being lost in a fog. But she's still not a very good teacher. She used one phrase "zhuan xin" that I couldn't find in my dictionary, only the two words separately. I couldn't get a clear meaning of the phrase from her explanation, and finally the guy from Canada wrote the definition on a piece of paper - "pay attention." Oh, great, so all the teacher had to do was say, "Zhuan xin means the same as zhu yi." and I would have understood. I mean, jeez, could she just sit down and look at the vocabulary lists from our textbooks and see what we know?

And what does it say about a teacher if 11 out of 13 people in her class make the identical incorrect choices for two sentences on a multiple-choice test? I think it means that the teacher did not clearly define the grammar usage because if she had, then we would have switched our choices and gotten them right.

Hope next week is better.

1 comment:

Ranger Steve said...

What is the response you are all getting from the staff there if you've been complaining about the current teacher? If so many people are missing the same test questions, that's a huge clue as to what is wrong with the class!