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Re: (teach) distance learning in China

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  • Yi Xie
    Thank you Karen! Actually, I posted one message in CA-L today. I hope there will be some responses. I am very interested in how English is taught at a
    Message 1 of 19 , Sep 30, 2001
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      Thank you Karen!
      Actually, I posted one message in CA-L today. I hope
      there will be some responses.

      I am very interested in how English is taught at a
      distance. I was told that there are some English
      courses taught by this mode, but still there is much
      room from improvement. This is what i would like to
      find out.

      Thanx again!

      Susan

      --- Karen Stanley <kstanley@...> wrote:
      > Jeff Kruse recommended TESL-L as a source of
      > information
      > on distance learning in China. In the subscribe
      > information,
      > he gave information on how to subscribe to three
      > branches of
      > the main list, JB-L, CA-L, and MW-L. Let me give my
      > take
      > on how each of these branches might be useful:
      >
      > JB-L (employment) would be appropriate for looking
      > at issues of
      > professional advancement via distance learning.
      > CA-L would be
      > useful in terms of questions of pedagogical use and
      > technical matters
      > related to distance learning. I'm assuming here
      > that you are referring to
      > more technologically advanced forms of distance
      > learning (rather
      > than correspondence by letters). I imagine MW-L
      > (material writers)
      > might be useful if you are looking at format and
      > composition of
      > materials which you use for distance learning. I am
      > on JB-L and
      > CA-L, but not MW-L.
      >
      > Karen Stanley
      > Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
      > <kstanley@...>
      >
      >
      >
      >


      =====
      Susan(Yi Xie) Student of Master of CALLComputer-Assisted Language LearningThe University of MelbourneE-MAIL: y.xie@... or xieyi12@...: 00613- Mobile: 0402585262ADDRESS: 18 Glenlyon Road, Brunswick, Victoria 3056 AUSTRALIA

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    • Jennifer Wallace
      The package offered is pretty much the standard deal, no better no worse than many others here. My guess is that if they can fill your timetable with Oral
      Message 2 of 19 , Sep 30, 2001
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        The package offered is pretty much the standard deal, no better no worse
        than many others here. My guess is that if they can fill your timetable
        with Oral English classes they will do, but many places don't have that many
        Oral English classes, so they fill our timetables with some of everything
        else, sometimes with consultation and negotiation, sometimes not. My
        experience is only in a college/university - which would happily offer this
        standard package to someone wanting a job here next year. I'm happy here
        and may well extend to a third year in the place.

        Jennifer Wallace
        Anhui Gongye Daxue, Ma'anshan, Anhui Province

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      • Patrick Wallace
        Hi Rebecca,The deal you mention from Global-Access China seems pretty standard for state run schools, though the accommodations are at the higher end of the
        Message 3 of 19 , Oct 1, 2001
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          Hi Rebecca,

          The deal you mention from Global-Access China seems pretty standard for
          state run schools, though the accommodations are at the higher end of the
          scale. Some schools will not offer the airfare as a part of the package,
          but if you insist on it you can sometimes get at least one way airfare after
          one year included: This is one point that often, but not always, seems to
          be open for negotiation. Since there are many, many more jobs in China than
          there are teachers, I am skeptical for the need to go with an organization
          if they require you to pay them any money or if all they are offering is job
          placement, as you can find a good job easily enough on your own by contacted
          the schools directly by email. Better yet, if you are truly adventurous,
          come to China and visit the schools you are thinking of working at: You
          would get a direct feel for working and living conditions and would be in a
          strong place to negotiate if something in the contract or housing is not up
          to your standards.

          Good Luck,
          Patrick






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        • john pullen
          I apologize to the group for sending that long message. I thought it was just going to Richard. Chris had suggested we put something together as an FAQ. I
          Message 4 of 19 , Oct 2, 2001
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            I apologize to the group for sending that long message. I thought it was
            just going to Richard.

            Chris had suggested we put something together as an FAQ. I was in the
            process of doing that and saw the request for information so I sent it.

            Now that it is out, does anyone have suggestions for improving it?

            john


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          • rebeccalim@optusnet.com.au
            Hi Jennifer I read with your interest of your experience. I would like to pick your brains here a little (if I may?). I m not sure which question you were
            Message 5 of 19 , Oct 3, 2001
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              Hi Jennifer

              I read with your interest of your experience. I would like to pick your brains here a
              little (if I may?).

              I'm not sure which question you were responding to but what is the standard
              package you talk about. I've been offered return air fares (if I complete a 12
              month contract or one-way if I only teach for 6 months). The salary range is
              RMB2,500 - RMB4,000 depending on quals/experience. The package includes
              fully furnished accommo, heater, air-cond, computer, bicycle (I had to laugh)....
              The org has also offered my almost 18 yo daughter a job teaching lower primary
              and for me, middle school so we can stay together. I would prefer tertiary but will
              consider middle school if that's the only opportunity for my daughter to also earn
              an income. Do you live on campus? How did you find your placement, was it
              through an agency or did you have contacts direct with the school?

              I need to get some information on the universities because my daughter is
              applying to do Arts/Law at the Uni of Qld here in Brisbane but if we go to china,
              she'll defer her place at uni and she might as well do a couple of u/grad subjects
              to get some credit. Can you recommend the better unis? I've done a search on
              the web but info is so fragmented and difficult to obtain..nothing detailed like what
              our unis.

              If we avoid Beijing, what are the better areas/provinces to go to?

              Is it difficult to teach conversational English? I don't have much experience - I
              have taught refugees settlement issues eg public transport, Australia's health
              system, law etc... but not a language. I've been getting a little worried when others
              have talked about bands, written english that sort of thing.

              I'm sorry to field so many questions but there's so much to consider, esp
              because my daughter is coming with me.

              I appreciate your comments/advice.

              Rebecca Lim.



              > Jennifer Wallace <Jennifer0052@...> wrote:
              >
              > The package offered is pretty much the standard deal, no better no
              > worse
              > than many others here. My guess is that if they can fill your
              > timetable
              > with Oral English classes they will do, but many places don't have
              > that many
              > Oral English classes, so they fill our timetables with some of
              > everything
              > else, sometimes with consultation and negotiation, sometimes not. My
              >
              > experience is only in a college/university - which would happily
              > offer this
              > standard package to someone wanting a job here next year. I'm happy
              > here
              > and may well extend to a third year in the place.
              >
              > Jennifer Wallace
              > Anhui Gongye Daxue, Ma'anshan, Anhui Province
              >
              >
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            • Jennifer Wallace
              I used the phrase standard package to mean what you ve been offered is pretty standard for many of the jobs here. Teaching oral English, conversation
              Message 6 of 19 , Oct 4, 2001
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                I used the phrase 'standard package' to mean what you've been offered is
                pretty standard for many of the jobs here.

                Teaching oral English, 'conversation' classes to classes of 30 or 40 of
                mixed ability, I think is hard work if you've not done it before in a better
                educational environment, with better resources, with training, with
                experience. However, we all have our own reasons for taking on what we do
                take on in life, and if you're prepared for a steep sharp learning curve I'd
                think you'll get as much out of it as you have to put in.

                I'm not sure what you're thinking about for your daughter. Sending your
                daughter to a Chinese university, I think, would be like sending her to a
                Western university of 50 years ago. Maybe better than nothing, but not an
                exactly wonderful learning experience and opportunity - and could be awful.
                You'd probably not believe how bad some of the classes can be and how
                minimal the resources are and what little idea there is of education beyond
                rote learning. What would she be thinking of studying - Chinese language
                and culture?

                My job here is with a UK NGO, VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) and our
                university also has 2 Americans here through another NGO, Volunteers in
                Asia. The advantage of that is they do all the negotiating and back us up
                in emergencies. And mine does invaluable things like provide the medical
                insurance and emergency bail-out arrangements.

                Feel free to ask me more.

                Jennifer Wallace

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              • john pullen
                Rebecca Lim I ve provided my ba shi fen (80 fen or 10 cents) to your questions. john ... Don t laugh, a bicycle is very useful and to have one right away
                Message 7 of 19 , Oct 9, 2001
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                  Rebecca Lim

                  I've provided my ba shi fen (80 fen or 10 cents) to your questions.

                  john

                  >what is the standard
                  >package you talk about. I've been offered return air fares (if I >complete
                  >a 12 month contract or one-way if I only teach for 6 months). >The salary
                  >range is RMB2,500 - RMB4,000 depending on quals/experience. >The package
                  >includes fully furnished accommo, heater, air-cond, >computer, bicycle (I
                  >had to laugh)....

                  Don't laugh, a bicycle is very useful and to have one right away without
                  having to hassel buying one the first week is very good. If I remember
                  correctly, buying my first bicycle was a week long process of deciding what
                  I wanted, pricing everything and purchasing it. Then trying to get the
                  license for it and registering was fun. Shortly thereafter my first bike
                  was stolen as I thought it was great to buy a mountain bike and of course
                  that is the most stolen bike in China. My second bike was the standard
                  black, one gear jobber that is soon looking very used and is not stollen as
                  quickly. It lasted just four months before it too disappeared, or as the
                  Chinese say, "someone borrowed". So a school purchased and loaned bike
                  could be a very good perc.

                  The rest of your details are the 'standard package'.



                  >The org has also offered my almost 18 yo daughter a job teaching lower
                  > >primary and for me, middle school so we can stay together. I would
                  > >prefer tertiary but will consider middle school if that's the only
                  > >opportunity for my daughter to also earn an income. How did you find
                  > >your placement, was it through an agency or did you have contacts >direct
                  >with the school?

                  The offer to have both with jobs is a good deal. Working with middle school
                  students can be a little more bothersome in that usually their classes will
                  have 50 to 60 students in each class. Unless you are use to teaching and
                  having large classes, this can be daunting at first. The student motivation
                  or attention can also be lacking as not all are going to be able to pass the
                  test for college entrance and so they are really just biding their time
                  rather than just trying to study. A few will be rather disruptive as well.

                  In my case, I contacted schools directly and was lucky to get a position at
                  a school that worked out very well.

                  >I need to get some information on the universities because my daughter >is
                  >applying to do Arts/Law at the Uni of Qld here in Brisbane but if >we go to
                  >china, she'll defer her place at uni and she might as well do >a couple of
                  >u/grad subjects to get some credit. Can you recommend the >better unis?
                  >I've done a search on the web but info is so fragmented >and difficult to
                  >obtain..nothing detailed like what our unis.


                  I can't help a lot here, but you could contact your intended university and
                  ask if she can do a special assignment. She might also see if she can learn
                  Chinese and somehow get credit for a language course. Maybe some history
                  course can be done as a special history project while in China where your
                  daughter works with the instructor on a correspondence basis. She can also
                  use distance learning and take a course on the web that could be transfered
                  into your university. I would suggest you try working out something with the
                  university before leaving rather than taking something in China and then
                  trying to transfer the credit.


                  >If we avoid Beijing, what are the better areas/provinces to go to?

                  This is very subjective and really would require you to determine what type
                  of climate you want, size of city, resources nearby, and other conveniences.
                  There are many wonderful places.

                  >Is it difficult to teach conversational English? I don't have much
                  > >experience - I have taught refugees settlement issues eg public
                  > >transport, Australia's health system, law etc... but not a language.
                  > >I've been getting a little worried when others have talked about >bands,
                  >written english that sort of thing.

                  Teaching is the easy part. Getting others to learn is the challenge. In
                  most cases, where the school wants you to teach conversation, they are
                  really just interested in giving the students more exposure to a live model
                  of the language. Usually, they want the chance to talk and have some
                  feedback, but nothing major as expectation. However, this is changing as
                  the college entrance tests are now requiring students to be able to pass a
                  spoken Enlish examination. You might check out how this is implemented and
                  what is expected. Then teach to the test.





                  > Jennifer Wallace <Jennifer0052@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > The package offered is pretty much the standard deal, no better no
                  > worse
                  > than many others here. My guess is that if they can fill your
                  > timetable
                  > with Oral English classes they will do, but many places don't have
                  > that many
                  > Oral English classes, so they fill our timetables with some of
                  > everything
                  > else, sometimes with consultation and negotiation, sometimes not. My
                  >
                  > experience is only in a college/university - which would happily
                  > offer this
                  > standard package to someone wanting a job here next year. I'm happy
                  > here
                  > and may well extend to a third year in the place.
                  >
                  > Jennifer Wallace
                  > Anhui Gongye Daxue, Ma'anshan, Anhui Province
                  >
                  >
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