Monday, 1 September 2008

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions that I get asked by students on an almost daily basis (sometimes in this order too):
  • Where do you come from? "Great Britain" (usually they've only learnt England)
  • Which city? "Manchester" (football fans know this one)
  • Do you have any brothers and sisters? "Yes, a sister"
  • How old is she? "The same age as me, we're twins"
  • Where is she? "In England"
  • Does she live at home? "No, she lives with her boyfriend" (unheard of in China, usually they must be married first)
  • What does she do? "She is working in an office, saving up to go to theatre school"
  • Why do you smile so much? "Because I'm not depressed, why are you smiling?"
  • Do you like China? "Yes, of course"
  • Which cities have you been to? "Not many, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Xi'an, Beijing, Hong Kong, Taizhou and Wenzhou of course"
  • Why did you come to China? (you can find this, and the next few answers in my first post)
  • Why did you come to Wenzhou?
  • How long have you been in China?
  • Do you have a girlfriend?
  • Is she in England?
  • Is she Chinese?
  • Where [in China] does she come from?
  • What is your [university] major?
  • Why did you want to be an English teacher?
  • Do you like Chinese food? "I love it"
  • What is your favourite? "Sichuan food, especially Mapo Doufu"
  • Where do you live? "He Hua Building, He Hua Road"
  • How much do you have to pay to live there? "Too much"
  • How much is your salary? "Not much"
I have found that many people feel no problem asking a taboo question such as the one above; even taxi drivers have asked me about my salary (usually right after guessing if I'm German or Russian).

On a side-note, I failed my first student today. At school we teach two types of classes: a private class with up to four students, and a salon class with up to ten. Today I had a private lesson where the topic was travelling abroad. I had one girl, Sharon, and one boy, Zero (this name is completely normal in China). I've seen Sharon many times in salon classes and have complained to her tutor about the lack of willingness she has. Today was no exception, she wasn't interested in the slightest and knew nothing of the related vocabulary. I would even explain words to them on the board and she would point and ask, "what does that word mean?" one minute later. She also stays glued to her electronic dictionary (which usually yield incredibly inaccurate results) because she has to have every single English word translated into Chinese. From what I've seen since working at Web, this is a terrible way to study a language. I can picture the way she must have to communicate: Hear English; translate English into Chinese; think of what to reply in Chinese; translate Chinese into English; speak in English.

The failing had to be done!

The International Hotel, my place of work (the school is on the third floor!) on an unusually pollution-free day.

Still no news from the pair of bankers....

1 comment:

大眼睛熊 said...

Poor little girl,she must hates u now.. Hope u dont need to teach her again,sounds like she's ur nightmare now!!