Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Lerning Inglish in Tiewan

I was asked to prepare a short demo of my teaching abilities by a local cram school which helps prepare students for their Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) tests prior to their entering universities in English-speaking countries. The assistant at the school copied twelve pages from one of their textbooks regarding the speaking section of the test to help me familiarize myself with it. I was shocked to see how many errors were contained in just these few pages, and I'm here to share my dismay with all of you. I shudder to think what the remaining text looks like.

1. "Raters look criteria including of delivery..." - should be "Raters look at criteria, including delivery...
2. "That said, all most all....." - should be "That said, almost all...."
3. "The characteristic deference's between English...." - should be "The characteristic differences between English...." - Ding 'em twice for misspelling as well as an apostrophe where there is no possession.
4. The word "General" as a heading at the top of one page was spelled "Gernal."
5. "...has some of the best and lest expensive message theorists....." - should be "...has some of the best and least expensive massage therapists....." Well, OK, maybe Thailand does have something called message theorists, but why the hell would that make one wish to go there for vacation?
6. "Its got relaxation..." - should be "It's got relaxation..." (This error is a pet peeve of mine.)
7. "The supporting details prove the topic sentence stratifies the criterion." Huh? I think they mean "satisfies the criterion." But that's just me....
8. "....beaches are the prefect place...." - Now, me, I prefer perfect places. How about you?
9. "...they rent equipment of a variety of activities,...." - should be "...they rent equipment for a variety of activities,...."
10. "Form C strength is that it offers examples." - should be "Form C's strength is that it offers examples."
11. "That is because shrine houses a ghost that...." - should be "That is because the shrine houses a ghost that...." (Those pesky articles are almost as bad as prepositions for speakers of an Asian language.) Here's another:
12. "Therefore, it is duty of every...." - "...the duty".
13. " to....Shrine at least one during our lifetime." - should be " least once during our lifetime."
14. "The key to doing the successfully is..." - should be "The key to doing this successfully is..."
15. The word "delivery" was misspelled as "delievery" a total of four times, three of which were section headings.
16. The word "cohesive" was misspelled as "cohesvie" twice.
17. When providing lists of words and phrases the student could use in sentences as transitional devices, some were duplicated (another pet peeve, sorry, it just bugs me).
18. The word "identified" was misspelled as "idenified" once.
19. The word "more" was misspelled as "morer" twice.
20. The paragraph discussing subordinating clauses stated, "Link two related sentences to each other so that one carries the main idea and the other is no longer a complete sentence." However, in both examples given, the sentences were composed of two independent clauses - if the subordinating conjunction were removed, both were complete sentences. Big help, huh?
21. The word "manufacturing" was misspelled as "manufcaturing" twice.
22. In two places two words had been crammed together without the required space: "Taiwanlast" and "wooditems."
23. The word "sightsee" was misspelled as "sight see" right next to "sightseeing," which should have given them a clue how to spell the first one.
24. The word "opportunities" was misspelled as "opertunities."

This list does not include the multiple errors in punctuation, such as missing commas and the like, which also adorned almost every page. This was just a cursory exam on my part, since my main goal in reading it was not to proofread but to prepare for my demo, so perhaps there are even more gems that I've not yet discovered.

Sadly, I am unable to obtain a job as a teacher at this school, as I do not possess the required BA degree (although they were quite happy with the first demo I gave them last week and would have hired me if the Taiwan government had given the official okey-dokey). Perhaps the materials are written by a qualified person who does have that little piece of paper that makes government officials jump and down for joy. Gosh, I wonder if I can get a job as a proofreader......

1 comment:

aetherwellen said...

Wow. :o