April 23rd, 2007

English-teacher test puts accent on pronunciation, proclaims the headline. Oh dear. There are so many ways that could go disastrously wrong.

Shanghai plans to weed out unqualified foreign English teachers with a language and teaching test.


The test, organized by the Shanghai Personnel Bureau, will mainly target non-native-English speakers who apply for English-teaching positions in kindergartens, middle schools and language training schools, the bureau revealed at the city’s second job fair for English teachers on Saturday.

Oh, that doesn’t seem too bad… Except: What the hell is Shanghai still doing hiring non-native speakers as foreign English teachers? If this were Taiyuan or Changsha or some other second- or third- or fourth-tier city, fine, but Shanghai?

“The bureau will invite an English-language expert panel from local universities to test applicants’ English speaking ability, especially pronunciation and accent.”

Well, fine, but still, why are they focussing on only two aspects of the language? Shouldn’t they be tested on their all-round English ability? And many questions about the expertise of the panel…

Recent education graduates from English-speaking countries must also take a similar test on their teaching skills, bureau officials said.

Sounds good, but forgive me for remaining sceptical. Who is setting the standards here? And how do we know this will be done reasonably? A foreign teacher’s job is really quite different from a Chinese teacher’s job.

Well, the article is the usual bullshit, meaning, it raises many more questions than it answers. For example, why the hell are the quoting somebody from Niger (or did the incompetent fool of a journalist mean Nigeria?) dismissing the test? Sure, experience is more important than certificates, but what the hell is somebody from a French-speaking country doing teaching English in Jiangsu?

Well, if this means they’re trying to improve the quality of English-language teaching, fine, but this seems rather clumsy. I just hope for Shanghai’s sake that they implement this properly. No, wait, I don’t care about Shanghai…. I hope that if Beijing decides to follow suit they do it properly.

Anyway, just another reminder that I need to get off my arse and get a real job. Either that or start freelancing.

2 Responses to “hmmm……”

  1. John Says:

    I think the title says it all about this entry. Well, it does the way I say hmmm when I read this.

  2. wangbo Says:

    You’re right. And I probably shouldn’t have posted this, but who cares, too late now.