Teach English in Dalu Zhen - E'erduosi Shi — Ordos

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Culture is a wonderful combination of customs and aspects unique to an individual country. When English teachers decide to teach in a specific country, they need to learn as much as possible about that country. Many aspects of a country combine to create its culture, and sometimes there are various subcultures. History, religion, politics, customs, economy, language, family status and/or expectations can all shape the culture in a country. Teachers should research the cultural expectations before interviewing and moving to their new job. Learning about the culture ahead of time can avoid embarrassment, miscommunications, and potentially save a teacher from being fired. Social norms can determine how teachers should dress and behave in the classroom. In many countries, women are expected to wear a skirt and blouse, but in other countries, women wear slacks. Men might be expected to wear high quality dress coats and pants, so learning ahead of time what is expected can avoid potential embarrassment. Behaviors may be different depending on the sex of the teacher as well, so be mindful of how men and women relate to one another. For instance, in Taiwan children are held in high regard, so it is considered extremely disrespectful to touch their heads or face. Potential miscommunications occur when teachers see a behavior in students and do not correctly understand the cause of the behavior. In South Korea, it is a sign of respect for students to not make eye contact with an adult they wish to honor. Teachers should learn what behaviors are common in the classrooms of the country they work so that they do not misinterpret the students’ actions. Teachers should also be aware of the miscommunications the students may experience. In South Korea, students are very competitive and may take every assignment very seriously, so feedback by the teacher should be carefully chosen so as not to cause unnecessary stress. Issues can also arise with the choice of material used in the country of work. Depending on how conservative or volatile the political climate is, teachers should be mindful of the potential insult that might be caused by the reading materials chosen. English countries’ history should be taught, but teachers should purposefully choose videos, music, books, and articles that are appropriate for the expectations of the employer and the country’s culture. Relevant history of the country should be learned by the teacher. Teachers need to study major events such as wars or political changes so that offenses can be avoided. Teachers’ personal opinions and views should be avoided when possible but being unaware of major events can cause a loss of respect by students and/or colleagues, especially if the event is a very sensitive subject. When teaching more advanced students, knowing the common expressions in the native language can be very beneficial. Some students in certain countries might not understand why English sentences are arranged the way they are, so knowing the major differences can inspire teachers to prepare ahead of time. More time can be reserved for writing and speaking complete and compound sentences, as well as intonation or any other issues. A country’s culture is often what sets it apart from other countries. English teachers must learn about the country’s culture in which they choose to work. Cultural norms, historical background, religion, politics, and family expectations all work together in shaping the culture of a country. Teachers must research the country’s culture ahead of time to avoid miscommunications, embarrassment, and offending new employers and students.