Ask more or less anyone what motivates people and you will hear more or less the same answer: money. Without exception, every time I have a run a workshop about how to motivate teachers, the participants pick “salary” as the most important factor. The participants at this workshop at IATEFL 2017 were no different. Their answers to “What do you think motivates teachers?” collected at the beginning of the workshop, are shown in Figure 1. There is research to support this belief. In 2006, Andy Hockley surveyed 105 teachers about their motivations at work and found salary was one of the most commonly identified factors for teacher motivation (Hockley, 2006). But is that still true now?
Sixty years since Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. Fifty-five years since Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream”. And, four decades after George Wallace said “I was wrong.” You might think, by now, we’d have racism under control. We don’t. In fact, the prevalence of racism in recruitment has not improved in the US since 1989 (Quilliana, Pagerc, Hexela & Midtbøenf, 2017). Is TEFL recruitment racist? We know that our industry discriminates against “non-native English teachers”, but what about good old, garden-variety racism?
This article will investigate the attitudes of service and sales staff, parents, students and teachers towards native-speakerism in the Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) industry in China. It will briefly review literature on the subject, consider survey responses from 1123 respondents at a language teaching organization (LTO) in China and attempt to explain the results and consider the implications. I will argue that if we (as an industry) hope to change parents’ and students’ preferences for “native English teachers” we must first change the views of our own staff. Additionally, as they have a key role in setting customers’ expectations about language learning, sales and service staff are of paramount importance in any attempts to change consumer preferences. Yet, until now, these groups have not been part of our professional discourse on this matter nor have many attempts been made to better understand their beliefs.
This article will investigate teacher recruitment in the Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) industry in China. It will review literature on the subject, consider survey responses from 1220 teachers who either accepted or rejected offers of a job at a language teaching organization (LTO) in China and will attempt to explain the results and consider the implications for language teaching institutions.
As managers and trainers, we are usually well aware of the organizational need for training new teachers when they arrive in our schools. New teachers need to learn about the curriculum, need to understand the methodology of their school, need to be trained on how to manage the classroom. But what about the needs of the new teachers themselves? This workshop aimed to make participants more aware of the needs of teachers who move abroad to teach English as a foreign language, demonstrate a low-cost way to meet teachers’ needs and show the results of meeting these needs.
Have you heard the old joke about training?
The Chief Financial Officer asked: What if we invest in training our people and they leave?
To which the Human Resources manager replied: What if we don’t and they stay?
Many of us have heard similar arguments against training made by those who hold the purse strings in our organizations. We know training makes sense. But what truth is there to the Chief Financial Officer’s (CFO) argument? It is becoming increasingly common for trainers to be asked to prove their training programs deliver return on investment (ROI) (Virtual Asherage, 2013). As the CFO hints in the joke, if employees leave after receiving training, any ROI will be all but impossible. Furthermore, many companies worry that training may encourage employee turnover (Allen, 2008). So, what is the reality of training and turnover? And how does this relate to the language teaching industry?
The ultimate goal of a performance management system should be to improve performance. “Performance management can make a vital contribution to enhancing individual and organizational performance in a highly competitive business environment” (Atkinson & Shaw 2006: 191) and is a vital factor in business competition (Mayo, 2001).
Teacher turnover is a challenge across the world. In mainstream education, approximately half of all teachers leave the teaching profession within five years of joining (Ingersoll & Smith, 2003). This creates a problem. Even during a time when there is a perceived move towards a reliance on technology in education, teacher effectiveness remains the most important in-school factor affecting student learning (Rivkin, Hanushek & Kain, 2005). Teachers who remain in the profession improve in effectiveness in their first few years (Henry, Bastian & Fortner, 2011). In short, teacher turnover harms student learning.