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The demand for English language learning in Poland is at an all time low


hague1cmaeron 14 | 1,377
2 Oct 2011 #31
I honestly think that the argument for synthetic phonics being reintroduced into the UK education system is unanswerable, then again you do need the right teachers to match.
Foreigner4 12 | 1,768
2 Oct 2011 #32
I've been following this discussion for a bit so I guess I'll chime in regarding the whole notion of grammar and native speakers:

Having listened in on many an English lesson run by a Polish teacher I can say that all except 3 were conducted in Polish with a few English lexical items thrown in but largely they were conducted overwhelmingly in Polish. Most of what I heard/saw was grammar explanation.

I find it slightly irritating that so many Polish learners of English want grammar explained. This is because it's a question of a lot of time invested vs. low learning gains. It's easy and it is interesting for ME but it simply does not aid in the acquisition of spoken grammar for the student. They most always understand the explanation but haven't learned a thing. There is a whole process to revealing grammar that goes waaaaaay beyond explaining grammar that many teachers just don't understand how to do nor its existence. Most of the Polish teachers that I've seen just focus on explaining grammar in L1 and then pretend that they've taught grammar and students think they've learned grammar when really it was all due to a well laid out course book.

Conversely, there's the "look at me I'm a fcuking clown" entertainer type teachers, sometimes Polish but largely Native Speakers- don't get me started on those people- they're whole shtick is to be nice, correct as little as possible and play silly games without rhyme or reason so long as the students remain entertained.

I used to work at language schools and in 10 years there have been 4 Polish teachers of whom I can say the students looked forward to their lessons and one of those is purely an entertainer whose students don't realize how badly a job she is doing. Sadly, in that time I have met only 2 Native Speakers in Poland who imo are worth the money they charge. I've met a few in other countries (the majority in UK) as well but that's been my experience.

There is A LOT of dead weight in ESL teaching in Poland from both Polish teachers and Native speakers.
woodgey - | 28
2 Oct 2011 #33
They most always understand the explanation but haven't learned a thing. There is a whole process to revealing grammar that goes waaaaaay beyond explaining grammar that many teachers just don't understand how to do nor its existence.

Lol newby teachers

Conversely, there's the "look at me I'm a fcuking clown" entertainer type teachers,

Is this all there is? Grammar lecturers or clowns? Really?

correct as little as possible and play silly games without rhyme or reason

These can be valid within the context of the class, just as explaining grammar can be.
OP welshguyinpola 23 | 463
2 Oct 2011 #34
Now 3 other schools in Gdansk who relied on projects are facing closure

For example, my 3 colleagues used to work for a school in Gdansk called Universus on ul. podgarbary. This place has now become a youth hostel as they wouldnt be able to affored the rent as a language school. They relied heavily on projects too. Another former colleague tells me that Oxford language centre is on the verge of closing too.

Teaching is a sinking ship and I'm glad I got off that one a long time ago
gazzaroon - | 36
2 Oct 2011 #35
I am finding that I am over-worked this year, for some reason.

I do think a lot of the problem is the sheer number of schools around who offer courses to potential students. In Wroclaw, the number of leaflets you get whilst walking through the rynek etc, is quite amazing. This adds to the problem for teachers if they have all their lessons in one school. I don't believe in having all my lessons in one school and share my time around so that if one school does go down hill then the others are there to take the slack. I have always had this view of teaching here and even with the pressure to give all my time to one particular school this year, I have stood firm and said no.

I guess it's a situation of particular schools getting fewer students this year rather than a demand for language learning being low.
Foreigner4 12 | 1,768
2 Oct 2011 #36
These can be valid within the context of the class, just as explaining grammar can be.

The operative word is "can."

Is this all there is? Grammar lecturers or clowns? Really?

That is mostly what I've come across- teachers who try to get by on just making friends with every student or those who basically just drill grammar or do questions in "the book." I'm not saying that's all there is, I'm saying that's mostly what I've seen.

I have always had this view of teaching here and even with the pressure to give all my time to one particular school this year, I have stood firm and said no.

That is the smart move.
pawian 182 | 17,009
2 Oct 2011 #37
=Foreigner4]That is mostly what I've come across- teachers who try to get by on just making friends with every student I'm not saying that's all there is, I'm saying that's mostly what I've seen.

Actually, it is a great asset if a teacher is able to make friends with his/her students. Why? Because it produces good atmosphere in the class, key to successful language acqusition and helps many students get rid of stress.
woodgey - | 28
2 Oct 2011 #38
Teaching is a sinking ship

I wouldn't say teaching is a sinking ship (people are always going to have to learn a foreign language somewhere) but definitely the model of language schools, grammar lessons and underpaid part-time teachers is hopefully on the way out. Some schools have tried breaking the mould by giving the teachers cars and delivering them to students like pizzas or firing the teachers and using computers but there haven't been too many real quantum leaps forward. And real innovation is what the sector needs.

Actually, it is a great asset if a teacher is able to make friends with his/her students

Hell yes. Win the crowd and you win your freedom!
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,846
2 Oct 2011 #39
I can say the students looked forward to their lessons and one of those is purely an entertainer whose students don't realize how badly a job she is doing

if the students are looking forward to her lessons, then she is not doing a bad job, is she?
Foreigner4 12 | 1,768
2 Oct 2011 #40
if the goal is to teach English and they can't actually communicate in that language despite years of "teaching" then make up your own mind but I've come to my conclusion.

Actually, it is a great asset if a teacher is able to make friends with his/her students. Why? Because it produces good atmosphere in the class, key to successful language acqusition and helps many students get rid of stress.

I agree if it is a means to an end and not an end in itself.
pantsless 1 | 267
19 Oct 2011 #41
I teach on the side and am turning down work all the time, I dont see any down turn in the TELF market at least here.

BTW, If there are any teachers who are looking for work in Wroclaw let me know.


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