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25 December 2007

Vox Pop Teaching English

VICKI: Well, my full name is Vasiliki Victoria de los Angeles, but everyone calls me Vicki for short, 'cause that's my English name. And I teach international students at SA Adelaide Language Centre.

INTERVIEWER: So what do the students find the hardest about coming to a new place?

VICKI: I think initially they find the culture shock. Because, well, in English classes back at home, they can only learn so much about the actual culture. They tend to concentrate... ..well, I find they tend to concentrate mainly on grammar - reading, writing skills. But they don't learn so much about the actual culture or the way people tend to socialise or even how they tend to speak. In Asia, students tend to not have eye contact or they don't tend to speak so much in class, whereas here in Australia they tend to... ..well, they're allowed to talk, they're allowed to participate in class, it's expected that they have eye contact. But a lot of that isn't taught over in their home towns or their home country, so they tend to find that very hard.

INTERVIEWER: And what do you like most about teaching international students?

VICKI: I like helping them, I like to help them to improve in their language skills, I like to... well, if you like, bring them up in the Australian culture and ease them into the Australian culture and the everyday living that is involved in living here in Australia.