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The level of English of Polish teachers of English. What do you think of it?


scottie1113 7 | 898
23 Dec 2011 #61
Actually, he found all your mistakes. Don't worry about it. I understood everything that you wrote, and if someday my Polish is as good as your English, I'll die a happy man.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,781
23 Dec 2011 #62
lovelybride, you shouldn't have wasted your time, you must know your English is excellent..;)
to the OP, their level is impressive, native and non-native teachers can work together very effectively.
isthatu2 4 | 2,704
23 Dec 2011 #63
This expression: "a sense of false importance", characterizes so well so many teachers of English

....and is poor English in itself....." a false sense of importance" would be correct :)

lovelybride, you shouldn't have wasted your time, you must know your English is excellent

Yes,but clearly not "native", this is where the problem lies. They never get the subtle cadence right and there is always at least one missing "the" . ;)

Polish teachers or even just Poles who speak a good level of English and have a bit of paper to prove it just will not listen to native speakers,in fact,will point blank tell you that you are wrong,thats what galls,to be told,for example that,"no,there is a W in sword so it must be pronounced" is kinda funny,but also,kinda annoying. :)
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
23 Dec 2011 #64
"a sense of false importance",

....and is poor English in itself....." a false sense of importance" would be correct

Both are correct, but the latter is the more common phrase amongst English speakers, and the obnoxious English teachers that harry this forum, and their diminutive allies, are quite common too.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,101
23 Dec 2011 #65
Dear Harry, having read your comment, I consulted my grammar books, a dictionary, and two native speakers of English. You're right! I DID miss one 'r' in 'occurred'. Hope it made your day. Kind regards!

You must know that Harry is getting increasingly isolated on this forum. Most of his supporters have abandoned him, but what is more appaling, his adversaries seem to have done so as well. So, as a last resort he refers to such petty things as an 'r' missing in the word 'occurred'.

But still, he has a lot of virtues which I have always been ready to admit (even if he has called me a liar, whereas I heve never called him names) which makes me smile rather than feel offended. I genuinely feel sorry for him, as he seems to be a lonely, and thus a bitter person.

Both are correct, but the latter is the more common phrase amongst English speakers

That's exactly what I have thought. 'A sense of false importance' did seem a very handy expression to me, with "false importance' rendering so nicely this subtlety when desribing the attitudes of many English teachers here. By the way, the expression seems so "trafiony" [here, I am short of an acurate English adjective], that it has immediately provoked angry replies from some of them and a particularly furious reaction from Harry. Again, some of them are very quick to point "poor English" to someone else, without even a minute's reflection that the expression may indeed be correct. That's what 'false importance' is, isn't it?
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
23 Dec 2011 #66
Polish teachers or even just Poles who speak a good level of English and have a bit of paper to prove it just will not listen to native speakers,in fact,will point blank tell you that you are wrong,thats what galls,to be told,for example that,"no,there is a W in sword so it must be pronounced" is kinda funny,but also,kinda annoying. :)

Oh yes, this is a big problem in Poland. While there are many lovely Polish teachers, there are plenty of them who "have papers" and simply do not take any criticism of their abilities. I knew one guy who made a horrible mistake (he marked a word wrong because it was spelt in the British, not American way - the students had no guidance as to what was expected) - and he wouldn't admit to it. The students went to the other teachers to ask, it was backed up by me and the dictionary - and he still wouldn't apologise. I actually had to apologise for his behaviour - which was ridiculous.

There's also a lot of them in management positions who think that their English is on a native level. Usually, they're to be avoided - I made it a point of not working for anyone who had studied English philology, as it was usually a guarantee that they had such self confidence.

And let's not forget about some clowns that write textbooks despite never having lived in an English speaking country - the Leader School chain uses such books.

(mind you, there are plenty of Polish teachers who **** all over "natives" when it comes to English)
pawian 173 | 12,567
23 Dec 2011 #67
As a Pol Eng teacher, I have no language problems until I reach the upper advanced level, which can be very idiomatic and colloquial and that is my main sore. Then I have to consult sources or even keys. I do pity my students from advanced groups who have to cram it all for tests. Poor guys.

Here is an excerpt:

Translate
Spur detrimental distractions to tackle to channel
Foresight essential graduation backing instant
To obtain unkempt issue to carry away on a whim
Sibling whereas to assume affluent rage
Dejected call in sick to alleviate remote adolescent
Looming rumour to bring up congested lack

Napięcie zaręczyny rocznica opór oszacowanie
w imieniu streszczenie wyrafinowany wskaźnik podatnik
wyprowadzić z błędu łatka wściekać się nadziany młodzież niewdzięcznik
Dochód uderzający absolwent z zasady Urabiać się po łokcie

Pokaz gniewu Shony nie wywarł wrażenia na Jeremim.

Niestety, trudności jakie miał w pracy przeniosły się na jego życie osobiste.

Zawsze podejmuję postanowienia noworoczne ale rzadko udaje mi się przy nich wytrwać.
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
23 Dec 2011 #68
Here is an excerpt:

What textbook does this come from? The list of "difficult" words seems like a throwback to the grammar translation method ;-)
Without context, some of these words would be hell to translate accurately, e.g. "backing" or "issue" or "congested". Who on earth dreams this stuff up?
Foreigner4 12 | 1,769
23 Dec 2011 #69
what a student needs, more than anything (this is just my own opinion) is to be able to understand everything a native says.

Why would that be your opinion when the majority of International business done in English is through non-native speakers?

They never get the subtle cadence right and there is always at least one missing "the" . ;)

You have marched in cadence to the CORRECT!

Polish teachers or even just Poles who speak a good level of English and have a bit of paper to prove it just will not listen to native speakers,in fact,will point blank tell you that you are wrong,thats what galls,to be told,for example that,"no,there is a W in sword so it must be pronounced" is kinda funny,but also,kinda annoying. :)

This has happened to me but only with female Polish English teachers
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,781
23 Dec 2011 #70
: This expression: "a sense of false importance", characterizes so well so many teachers of English
....and is poor English in itself....." a false sense of importance" would be correct :)

no, the first is what I wanted to say.

Yes,but clearly not "native", this is where the problem lies. They never get the subtle cadence right and there is always at least one missing "the" . ;)

so what? One missing 'the'?
I have known native English teachers who know very little about how to teach grammar, who think that 'brought' and 'bought' are interchangeable, who need to ask how to spell the word vocabulary, and get all red faced and cross when the student uses an Americanism.

I would rather work with a non native speaker any day.

Spur detrimental distractions to tackle to channel
Foresight essential graduation backing instant
To obtain unkempt issue to carry away on a whim
Sibling whereas to assume affluent rage
Dejected call in sick to alleviate remote adolescent
Looming rumour to bring up congested lack

Pawian that is insane...;)
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
23 Dec 2011 #71
so what? One missing 'the'?

To be fair, it sounds jarring when it's missed out. It's probably the hardest thing for Polish students to grasp, and yet one of the most important things to master.

I have known native English teachers who know very little about how to teach grammar, who think that 'brought' and 'bought' are interchangeable, who need to ask how to spell the word vocabulary, and get all red faced and cross when the student uses an Americanism.

You should have said "teachers" and not teachers!
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,781
23 Dec 2011 #72
You should have said "teachers" and not teachers!

yes indeed.....;)
delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
23 Dec 2011 #73
Honestly, when you see this - Living and working in Poznan. Looking for more students to tutor.

have a full time job and i also tutor English. I am currently looking for more student's that are looking to improve their English, whether it be conversational or just general vocabulary or improve their grammer. if you are interested in contacting me, drop me a message and then we can take it from there. thanks Rory.

You start to appreciate Polish teachers ;)

I showed that to several Polish teachers, and they were all utterly horrified.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,781
23 Dec 2011 #74
You start to appreciate Polish teachers ;)

tee hee, that is shocking!
Harry
23 Dec 2011 #75
Both are correct

Yes, both are indeed correct; however, they do not mean the same thing. Perhaps I can explain it in a way you can understand.
"A false sense of importance" means that one incorrectly feels that one is important. In such case the problem is in oneself.
"A sense of false importance" means that one feels that one is incorrectly important (or at least one is incorrectly thought to be important). In such case one is not at fault.

the latter is the more common phrase amongst English speakers

Only amongst those who are so badly educated that they do not know how the placement of an adjective can completely change the meaning of a phrase.

the obnoxious English teachers that harry this forum, and their diminutive allies

Mods: is there a reason that this flaming has been allowed to remain? If you would like us to flame, I could probably contribute something about Polack layabouts who need to get a job, and perhaps their Ukrainian grandmothers. But I'd much prefer that we were not allowed to flame.

even if he has called me a liar, whereas I heve never called him names

I didn't just call you a liar: I pointed out the specific lie you told and am happy to point out others. You have never called me names? Really?

he seems to be a lonely, and thus a bitter person.

Oh, you seem to have been caught lying again.

lovelybride, you shouldn't have wasted your time, you must know your English is excellent..;)

You got that half right: she should certainly not have wasted her time criticising somebody who freely gives their time to help others learn English, or does she also give free lessons?

I would rather work with a non native speaker any day.

I always preferred to work with the better teacher, but that's just me apparently.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,101
23 Dec 2011 #76
I didn't just call you a liar: I pointed out the specific lie you told and am happy to point out others.

I pointed out that your supporters had abandoned you and - what is even more appaling - your adversaries had done so as well.

You have never called me names? Really?

No, I have not. But, of course, I pointed you out as a person with an [extremely inflated] "sense of false importance" which

means that one feels that one is incorrectly important.

delphiandomine 85 | 18,254
23 Dec 2011 #77
Mods: is there a reason that this flaming has been allowed to remain?

They're well aware - I count three warnings to him in the last couple of days.

Still, we, as civilised individuals, do not get involved in this sort of nonsense.
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
23 Dec 2011 #78
Why would that be your opinion when the majority of International business done in English is through non-native speakers?

good question.

mainly, to avoid making the little mistakes that after a while become habitual and then set in stone.

in the International Business realm of people speaking English as a 2nd, 3rd, 4th language etc., people hear mistakes left and right yet they are communicating at a reasonably high level. they start to get comfortable and with comfort comes those set in stone mistakes because "everyone understands me". spend enough time in that comfort zone and your english can actually start to regress.

also, accent. often times, as someone goes from an upper intermediate level to an upper level, their vocab, grammar, syntax gets better yet their accent stays the same. hangin' with natives allows them to do all of that....and improve their accent, making them better understood when they speak.

i've always said that I was privelidged to learn Polish in Poland because absolutely everything you hear in Polish is NATIVE. if you hear Polish, a Pole is speaking it so you can regurgitate it without any worries. In places like the USA, half the English you hear is from a non-native so you don't get the same luxury, just like when a bunch of people sitting in a board room are doing business and nobody is a native english speaker.
Harry
23 Dec 2011 #79
No, I have not.

OK, so calling somebody a 'lonely bitter man' is not calling that person names, to you it is a mere statement of opinion. In that case, why do you object to somebody pointing out the fact that you are a liar, not the opinion but the fact?

they start to get comfortable and with comfort comes those set in stone mistakes because "everyone understands me". spend enough time in that comfort zone and your english can actually start to regress.

Precisely.
Foreigner4 12 | 1,769
23 Dec 2011 #80
I have known native English teachers who know very little about how to teach grammar, who think that 'brought' and 'bought' are interchangeable, who need to ask how to spell the word vocabulary, and get all red faced and cross when the student uses an Americanism.

If that's been the norm and not the exception then you really need to report these idiots to the DOS or the manager. Having stated that, although I can and do insist grammar is a component of my lessons, the majority of students must be "tricked" into doing grammar/fluency activities - they seem offended if I let them know they've been focusing on fluency AND grammar (and yes, i'm likely guilty of misusing the dash). What I'm saying is, the Polish style of presenting English grammar in class could do with an overhaul as well; it is not only unmotivating but also impractical in terms of fluency.

mainly, to avoid making the little mistakes that after a while become habitual and then set in stone.

I see your point and concur in that sense. I don't think it necessary that non-natives be able to digest everything a natives says but do wish we could all keep to the rules of English when communicating in it. Obviously at different levels of fluency, there will be mistakes but yeah, those should be regarded as mistakes nonetheless.

in the International Business realm of people speaking English as a 2nd, 3rd, 4th language etc., people hear mistakes left and right yet they are communicating at a reasonably high level. they start to get comfortable and with comfort comes those set in stone mistakes because "everyone understands me". spend enough time in that comfort zone and your english can actually start to regress.

On that I'm not sure I agree with you. If everyone is happy and IF everyone remains happy then who am I to insist they make corrections when what everyone wanted to communicate has been done?

Sooooo in order to bring this thread back on task- given the needs of the average international speaker of English, the average Polish teacher of English has been, in my experience, generally up to the task. Teaching style is another matter altogether.

*awaits modular judgment*
Seanus 15 | 19,706
23 Dec 2011 #81
When you consider that Polish teachers do class after class in a foreign language, you have to applaud them. I can speak Polish quite comfortably for the most part but when I begin to tire, I want to revert to English. They don't have the option of falling back to L1 in class. Well, not so often anyway. Although I haven't observed the Polish teachers here, I hear them in the other room and they really do a good job :)
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
23 Dec 2011 #82
I don't think it necessary that non-natives be able to digest everything a natives says

No, of course not. Hell, sometimes natives don't understand other natives, but being around natives and being taught by one gets you closer to that point.

If everyone is happy and IF everyone remains happy then who am I to insist they make corrections when what everyone wanted to communicate has been done?

I think you're talking about something else now. I wasn't talking about whether what they say is enough or not, I'm speaking strictly from a learning perspective. Sure, they understand each other, high five and all go home, but that says nothing about whether they improved their english that day or not.

the average Polish teacher of English has been, in my experience, generally up to the task.

Sure.
Foreigner4 12 | 1,769
23 Dec 2011 #83
I think you're talking about something else now. I wasn't talking about whether what they say is enough or not, I'm speaking strictly from a learning perspective. Sure, they understand each other, high five and all go home, but that says nothing about whether they improved their english that day or not.

I think we're talking about the same thing (i think). If everyone has understood one another then what's to improve? Maybe their energy is better spent elsewhere?
FUZZYWICKETS 8 | 1,883
23 Dec 2011 #84
I think we're talking about the same thing (i think). If everyone has understood one another then what's to improve?

beeeecaaaaaause like I JUST said, "I'm speaking strictly from a learning perspective."

A room full of Intermediate speakers, no matter how long they speak to each other, will never be Advanced speakers by just talking to each other every day.
Foreigner4 12 | 1,769
23 Dec 2011 #85
but why should they feel the need to learn more if what they've learned has allowed them to reach their goal? Perhaps their energy is better spent on other matters?

we seem to be assuming they (who ever they might be) have different goals. I am assuming their goal is to get what they want, it seems like you're assuming their goal is to improve their English to the point of fluency.
Seanus 15 | 19,706
23 Dec 2011 #86
They are often more engaged in the teaching process through having had to come through gruelling tests. It stands them in good stead as they have to check the lesson that bit more carefully than a qualified native. They sometimes ask me the meaning of words and that's a good thing. They are interested and thorough. They are more into it than I am.
pawian 173 | 12,567
24 Dec 2011 #87
What textbook does this come from?

Upstream Advanced, chapter 1.

The list of "difficult" words seems like a throwback to the grammar translation method

There are difficult and easy words.

Not grammar but sentence translation. It is a very good exercise which precisely shows one`s aptitude (or inaptitude) in the language. I use it in placement tests and seldom has it failed me.

Without context, some of these words would be hell to translate accurately, e.g. "backing" or "issue" or "congested"

Really? I thought they have quite unambiguous meaning. Backing is wsparcie, issue is kwestia, and congested is zatłoczony. What is wrong with your English? :):):):) My students aren`t troubled by such silly dilemmas. :):):)

Who on earth dreams this stuff up?

Proudly, me. But no need to worry, I showed you only a small part of a typical test. There are still other exercises, so if you don`t like translations, you might do better in multiple choice or transformations etc. :):):)

Pawian that is insane...;)

Yes, I know. :):):):) But it works, believe me. None of my ex-students have any problems with English during their uni studies.
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
24 Dec 2011 #88
Really? I thought they have quite unambiguous meaning. Backing is wsparcie, issue is kwestia

Backing can also mean any material that is used to cover the back of something, e.g. a framed picture, an upholstered item etc. It can also refer to musical accompaniment as in 'backing singers'. I think there are one or two other meanings - one to do with theatrical scenery and the other an engineering term. 'Issue' can mean (as well as kwestia or sprawa) an issue of a magazine or newspaper a financial instrument or a banknote, stamp or coin. It can mean someone's children as well as geographical, legal and medical meanings.

One of the key skills of teaching higher level students is getting them to feel how a word can have differing meanings in different contexts - a lot depends on how they've acquired the language from day one.

That test is a scary one - looks like something from Nelson Proficiency (an old book, but still the best)
pawian 173 | 12,567
24 Dec 2011 #89
Backing can also mean any material that is used to cover the back of something.

Yes, of course, but it is not a problem if a student provides the meaning different from the one we did in class. As long as it is correct, they get a point.

I think there are one or two other meanings - one to do with theatrical scenery and the other an engineering term

Maybe, but we don`t do such unimportant stuff in class. :):):):):)
JonnyM 11 | 2,620
24 Dec 2011 #90
Maybe, but we don`t do such unimportant stuff in class. :):):):):)

Backing singers or a backing group is quite common really!


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