Teaching in China - Seven Dog Years

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 June, 2012, 12:00am


Teaching in China - Seven Dog Years
by Charlotte Salyer
Amazon Digital Services

Charlotte Salyer isn't the first, and won't be the last, English-language teacher to write a book about her experiences in an exotic country. That means any writing on the subject needs to be outstanding - unfortunately, Teaching in China doesn't achieve that distinction. Forty-seven years old by the time the author leaves Nevada in the US for Gongyi in Henan, she encounters language difficulties, food frights and the usual problems facing anyone in a developing country for the first time. Cement crumbles in her apartment and, at the school where she teaches, students share one pair of glasses to read the blackboard. Although generous in her assessment of the Chinese she meets, she describes her students as dishonest. 'Many of them were a bunch of miserable, bold-faced cheaters!' she writes. Her only explanation for the seemingly acceptable practice of cheating is China's culture of competitiveness. Salyer devotes much of her book to describing the idiosyncrasies of fellow teachers, which will have readers wondering, 'Who cares?'