Sunday 28 October 2012

Hot Topic: Getting Free Language Lessons

Sometimes the school where you're working will offer you free language lessons. This often happens in Asia, particularly in China. They advertise free housing, flights and occasionally free lunches and Chinese classes. While it sounds nice, there's often a catch.

In my experience, the free Chinese classes are often given by another teacher. Usually a young, new teacher with no experience teaching Chinese whatsoever. Another problem is that the teacher may not speak much English. So little English along with little Chinese as a foreign language experience often leaves both you and the teacher frustrated. In addition, the lessons are often cancelled due to the other teacher being "busy".

I've had free Chinese classes in two of the schools where I worked. The first was very difficult, the teacher was the school secretary, had no idea how to teach Chinese and had no English. There were 3 of us in the class. Class was often cancelled. The second was better. The teacher was a young English teacher. She had no Chinese teaching experience, but was very patient and I was the only one in the class. It's often the luck of the draw.

What do you think?
Have you ever been given free language classes? How did they work out for you?

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