More Intercultural Miscommunication in TEFL

Do you remember last week’s post?  We talked about a misunderstanding between a new teacher and his employer. They had a misunderstanding due to the employer’s inability to  appropriately express her urgency in the conversation causing the new teacher to assume he was about to lose his job.

Check and Check again!

I want to relate to another story that says “New teachers – pay attention, check and check again!”

Another new English teacher-to-be, in the middle of her visa process, understood her employer to suggest that all the cost involved in the visa process will be covered by the school – even the cost of visa-related things she needed to do back in her home country. This happened in spite of a contract that specifically stated only the expenses in China would be paid.  And – this was not true.

You are entering the non-native world now

It is important to remember that you will often communicate with non-native English speakers while you are looking for an English teaching job abroad. Misunderstandings can be common, it can even happen between native speakers.

The truth of the matter: Miscommunications might be problematic

When problems occur, you are confused or it seems just too good to be true, try to clarify the situation by using the strategies suggested in the previous post.  Rephrase what the speaker said and ask if that was what they meant, you might be surprised!

When you are upset or confused seek the help of a colleague to clear things up.

TED’s Tips™ #1: Communicate – it is your job as a teacher. Practice good communication skills all the time.

TED’s Tips™ #2: I hope that you can see that this post, as well as the previous one, had potentially unhappy and confusing results for the people involved and it was, in fact, solved so easily.

Could this be the very thing that determines who is successful abroad and who is not?

Teaching Internships in China