(30 of 50) CLT & Taiwan: About Fake/Not-Real Teachers of IELTS/English: Introduction V

By | April 18, 2018

A creature waiting to be preyed upon..jpg


About Fake/Not-Real Teachers of IELTS/English: Introduction V

In the last post, I explained the different between fake and not-real teacher, and gave some possible reasons why this is a particular problem in Taiwan – that is, why there can be so many teachers who are not really teachers, but just average people passing themselves of as IELTS authorities, and using tricky methods to convince you of this, and making lots of money in doing so. Here were the possible reasons I mentioned.

(1)  The English-language teaching industry is totally unregulated.

(2)  It deals with huge numbers of students – a huge market to be milked.

(3)  These students have the instinct to trust anyone who calls themselves an authority.

(4)  These students want quick and easy answers.

(5)  The IELTS test means a lot to them.

(6)  There are huge amounts of money to be earned.

[PS: relating to Point (6), the news this morning (Friday 13th March) talked about a ‘famous’ teacher in Taichong who made $30 million NT a year (!!!!!) – although the news was about the fact that he just hanged himself, so obviously all that money brought complications to his life that he couldn’t handle – or was it just the unlucky ‘Friday 13th’ day? Okay, technically, the teacher hanged himself the day before.]

Wow! Add those six factors all together, and you have a magnet for the wrong sort of people and the wrong sort of schools, those whose instinct is not to help you with English or IELTS, but to get your money. Yes, that would explain why the ‘fake teacher’ problem is so prevalent, and why the social media is so full of tricks and deceit.

But do you agree with me? Do you deny all this? Maybe you reject the whole argument? Maybe you are saying, ‘That’s all rubbish. My teacher is wonderful, and helped me get a high IELTS mark!’  Hmmm. What can I say to this? Well, it is possible that your teacher was indeed wonderful, and actually did help you get a high IELTS mark. They are definitely out there. But it is also possible that … maybe … you just think that. Every situation and every teacher (and ever student’s claim) needs to be carefully assessed, wouldn’t you say?

Surely we can all agree that everyday experience has taught people to be careful? I’m sure most of you readers have received the ‘scam’ phone calls. These people often claim to be from overnment agencies (for example – the National Health Agency), and claim that your National Healthcare Card is missing. Then they ask for personal details … and slowly play their tricks on the unsuspecting victims.

There are even fake postmen, pretending to be delivering mail, but actually trying to get you to sign document, give identities … and, again, slowly play their tricks on the unsuspecting victims. So, surely everyone (no matter how much you disagree with me) should be alert to the possibility that they are being tricked, right?

Can everyone at least accept that there are frauds out there, and that they are actively operating? It is simple a fact of life, right? In every country, including my own, Australia. Therefore, surely we must all accept that it would be naive and foolish to blindly believe any person to whom you give large amounts of money. Anyone who did this would be like the picture at the top of this post: prey to the confidence tricksters.

Surely, it is not offending anyone if I suggest that your should check the qualifications and credentials of a teacher, and more importantly, ask for proof of these, or at least do that basic assessment of the teacher and the situation? Isn’t this just the most basic precaution that any careful and intelligent consumer should take?

In the next post, we’ll look at a cultural problem students here have on this issue.

Now, check that you know the meaning of the underlined vocabulary (also repeated below).

  • to pass yourself of as [sb.] (v phrase)
  • a magnet for sb. (v phrase)
  • to be prevalent (adj)
  • scam (adj) & (n)
  • a victim (n)
  • to be naive (adj)
  • to be foolish (adj)
  • to be blind (adj)
  • to be dubious (adj)
  • credentials (n)

If you want to find out more about me, go to aisielts.com .

Author: Andrew

Andrew Guilfoyle Cambridge CELTA, Cambridge DELTA, Cambridge CELTA teacher-trainer, M.Ed