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Questions for Teachers in Taiwan

A common theme in teaching English as a second language is the role of questions in the curriculum. Since most communications are in fact a series of questions and answers it is paramount to have students putting together various words to create a question. However the mixture of what is a new culture as well as the need for questioning can lead to some interesting classroom topics. 


As you are a foreigner in Taiwan you will encounter questions from your students about anything under the sun. It is best to encourage rather than discourage this, regardless of the nature of the question, even if it seems offensive. To attack a question out of turn will discourage the asker from actively participating in a class, if he or she feels it could cause trouble. So if a question seems wildly inappropriate just deflect it rather then squash it. 


Culture shock will affect your classroom behavior which is a natural part of the transition. You may be testy for periods of time while you adjust to the new culture, and you may respond to genuine questions a bit differently then you would in a home situation. It is best to keep in mind that if you can understand what they are saying then they are learning, and you are doing your job.

 So develop your student’s questioning skills. Your primary role as an ESL teacher in Taiwan is to educate students in how to talk with foreigners in a new language. Questions and Answers is one of the best ways to do that.

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