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[Expat] Chinese-Canadian slams foreign 'teachers'
Latest Updated by 2006-04-13 10:05:35

FRANCIS POON, a Chinese-Canadian who teaches English in Shenzhen, thinks many schools in China are hiring the wrong foreigners as teachers.

Poon said that a large number of Chinese schools hire foreign teachers for their "foreign" appearance rather than any actual teaching ability, and they do this for promotional purposes.

"That is plainly wrong," said Poon.

While working in a private high school in Zhejiang Province in 2004, Poon found the average monthly salary for a foreign teacher in China was only between 3,000 (US$375) and 5,000 yuan.

"The current pay scales in most Chinese schools could attract only the inexperienced fresh foreign college graduates, most of whom come to China for travel and fun," Poon said.

With little teaching experience and training, the foreign "teachers" are only capable of conversing with local students to help them improve their oral English, he said. These "teachers," according to Poon, cannot be treated at par with trained teachers.

Poon suggested two ways by which the current situation in China can be remedied.

His first idea was that schools should fully exploit the pool of retired teachers and professors in English-speaking countries. These people have the experience and will be happy to find teaching positions after retirement.

The other idea was that the schools should hire teachers regardless of appearance. Many overseas Chinese are very good in English and they would love to come back to their motherland to teach English.

Poon said it was important that Chinese schools struck a balance between using foreign teachers for promotional purposes, and maintaining the quality of English teaching.

Editor: Wing

By:Hugh Fang Source:Szdaily web edition
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