09 January, 2012

Back to school

My first day in school. Apparently I was assigned to the basic level class. It wasn't an easy job to teach at that level. Most of time students didn't understand what the teachers were saying, so the teachers had to be very patient and use the easiest vocabulary to teach the students as they would teach to three year old children. They sometimes needed to play games to cheer the students up, to prevent them from getting bored or falling asleep.

In the morning class, students were mostly from Latin America, and surprisingly young. Some of them were still minors. This was the first time I met Latin-Americans in real life. My first impression of them was that they're passionate and dare to express their own idea. Because of them, the class never got boring. My teacher was a Pakistani woman who had a little daughter. She knew how to deal with the students. If they begged the teacher not to give them homework, she would have her way to convince them to do it.

Compared with Latin-Americans, I was totally autistic. I was very quiet in class. In Taiwan, students are not encouraged to speak. I only remember that we were always asked to be quiet by teachers. If the break time was put off because of some students who had questions, the said students would be accused of trying to stand out and isolated by their classmates. So don't be too surprised by any quiet Taiwanese student: we were simply educated this way. Of course, teenagers have a better education today than they had in my time.

Therefore, my task as a reborn student was "to speak more in the class".       

學校生活第一天. 很明顯地,我被分到了基礎班. 對任教基礎班的老師來說,教這個程度的學生不是件簡單的工作.大部份的時間,學生都聽不懂老師在講甚麼,所以,老師們得發揮最大的耐心,用最簡單的字彙,把學生們當三歲小孩來教.有時候,老師們得玩些遊戲讓學生們振作起來,避免他們倦怠,打瞌睡.

上午的課是會話課,班上學生大部分來自拉丁美洲. 年紀都很輕,有的甚至還未成年. 這是我第一次在現實生活中接觸拉丁美洲人,對他們的第一印象是,熱情奔放.勇於表達. 也因為他們,上課都不會無聊; 老師是巴基斯坦人,有個年紀很小的女兒,所以很了怎麼應付學生們. 特別是學生在跟老師討價還價說不要有作業的時候,老師也有她的方式說服他們寫作業.

跟拉丁同學比起來,我根本就像個自閉兒,每次都被老師說我很安靜.畢竟在台灣,學生沒有被鼓勵在課堂上踴躍發言,只記得每次都被要求"安靜",若因學生問了問題,導致下課時間被拖延,那個學生會被其他同學說愛表現或是被排斥. 所以,當你們在課堂上看到一些不太發言的台灣學生,請不要感到驚訝,因為我們就是這樣被教育的.當然,我相信,8年級生所受的教育應該比我那個時候要好一點.



Samantha Saw said...

Hey there the one adventurous Taiwanese girl in Montreal! I have never met you but I am gonna go to Canada soon in June and your blog about the life there kinda caught my attention and especially the one blog telling the difference between the education of western style and our asian style which I totally have the same opinion.. me being here in Malaysia as a chinese, we were always asked to "keep quiet" in class so apparently that is totally the opposite way of teaching compared to canadian education and that makes their kids being bold to express themselve which is the thing I think i shall learn from them and i am still learning :)
Hope we can keep in touch to share the experience :)

Unknown said...

To Samantha
I replied to you on the expat blog. Hoping to see you share your experience in Canada soon ;)