We had another lame department meeting on Friday, at which the foreign teachers were asked to sing more songs, add more chants, and more “action songs.” Now, I’m not adverse to teaching and singing Head&Shoulders, or the ABC song (with both tunes, I’m multi-cultural!), or even the Hokey Pokey, when it actually relates to the lessons.
But there’s a foreign-monkey aspect to random required singing and dancing that bothers me. Maybe I’m still bitter about my Yantai “Surprise! The foreign girl is going to sing to you!” But I don’t know if asking kids to add a tune they don’t know to words they can’t say is really helping them learn.
As Stick pointed out, “Nope. American entertainers get paid more than this.”
So my awesome TA brought in a tape today. “I have a very good song, it’s just perfect for your class.” She played the tape, and what do you think the excellent song was? The one that I just have to include in my English classes?
That song was Ali Bali, with all the Gaelic bits, and most of the English words, replaced with nonsense sounds.
“You know that’s not English, right?” I asked.
“The last foreign teacher liked it very much. It’s a very good song. You should use it in class tomorrow,”
There are a lot of reasons why I’m in China, but today I’m pretty sure I’m not here to teach English.