To Learn or not to Learn (Part 2)
At first I really thought that teaching here in Thailand would be that easy since when my wife came here everything was just as simple as it was. They (Foreign Teachers) weren’t required of anything or any form of essential documents before they could teach. Actually all that was asked of them is that they know how to teach and use the English language. With that, you can be assured of having a teaching position in any school that you’ll be assigned by your agency or a university where you are affiliated with.
After my awful first day at my 3 weeks teaching stint, I literally continued my teaching career with a heavy heart. But since that the contract was actually for 3 weeks, I didn’t have any choice but to finish the entire duration of the contract.
One of the many methods or brouhahas that the University taught us during the seminar was to actually do a warm up before starting our class. So the moderator which is an Australian asked all of those who were present at the seminar to make an on the spot “CHANT” (crazy isn’t it? It was only here that I’ve learned that Chants can be done just to teach the students about a certain vocabulary).
So, right then and there, I put on my thinking cap and made a chant which must be related to our vocabulary. Mine was on the “Occupation’, to give you an idea on my chant, let me relay it with you. Here goes…
“Father, father where are? Mother is asking where did you went
Tell her; tell her I’m at work fixing the computer that doesn’t work.
Brother, brother where are you, my skirt is missing what did you do?
Sister, sister don’t be mad, I wore it last night at the ramp.”
The entire congregation was literally laughing and later on our moderator asked for a copy of my chant telling me that He is going to use it for his night class.
So, having remembered that kind of lesson, I actually tried using the same method on my Matthayom students (High School). Thinking that I will get the same kind of reaction during the seminar, I unleashed my most deadly weapon at all. Exerting all my effort in delivering the chant, added to that I was actually feeling warm since we are required to wear a tie (OUCH!)
So, finally after5 all the exhibition and all the chanting, you can literally see their faces staring at you without any expression at all… they just sat their staring at me.
Have you ever watched a movie about a comedian delivering his punch line and all you can hear are the sound of the crickets? That’s what I felt during that time.
The reason was simple really…Thai students doesn’t like chants, it may be applicable for the Prathoms (Elementary) and Anubans (Kindergarteens) but definitely not for the Matthayoms.
To sum it all up I made a fool out of myself, and indeed all I got during my evaluation on my first day on the job was all “0” that was my rating. Then again, instead of my students learning I was the one who did learn that day. The fact that just even speaking their own name in plain English they cannot do it on their own and some of them would turn their head to their classmate beside them I couldn’t help but be amused of the glaring fact that they are not really that interested in learning Language.