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Circle of Knowledge: Asia

9th June 2017, by Lauren Tomlinson

On Tuesday evening I had dinner with a friend – James, who has recently arrived home after teaching English abroad for 3 years. After hearing many stories of how students in some countries he visited were encouraged to voice their opinion, but in their native tongue, it appeared to me that this was as much of a learning experience as it was a knowledge sharing experience.

After 2 years of learning how to teach English with TEFL, to students in Asia and work in different schools that welcomed learning the English language, which was almost every school. There was, of course, many differences compared with teaching English in Britain; cultural, classroom environment and salaries – which all varied across Asia and the Middle East.

James took me right back to the beginning, he spoke of the thought of ‘going back to basics’ with the English language really appealed to him, along with how he was going to teach the differences between homophones in the English language when most students didn’t even know how to say ‘hello’. We tucked into our very British pie’s, and he shared, what is exactly called: the circle of knowledge.

There was a process James had to go through in order to share his knowledge and teach others to better their lives and job prospects.

  1. Wanting to learn – James had a keen interest in learning how to teach English to people who have never spoken another language. Some hadn’t even spoken their native language and just spoke the language of their tribe. I must add, I am very inspired by his goal and now achievements
  2. Knowledge transfer – TEFL collaborated with James and shared their expertise
  3. Knowledge form – Learning ‘how to’ through TEFL, using their material which was a combination of eLearning, face to face and printed formats
  4. Knowledge diffusion – Communication of ideas and using the insight brought to him by TEFL
  5. Knowledge in use – This is the most exciting part for James, the knowledge being shared and demonstrated in a way that the learners can gain the best out of his teachings
  6. Knowledge application – This is the specific reason why James wanted to teach English as a foreign language…for the students to apply their knowledge they’ve learned from James into the real world!

Distributing knowledge with others has made James richer as a person, not in money, but in sharing his wisdom.

Knowingly or unknowingly, he had completed a full circle of knowledge transfer before he shared his knowledge with students across Asia who now have up to 34% chance of getting a higher paid job than others.

Someday, I hope to see those students coming to Britain teaching students here; Thai, Arabic, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Urdu, Hindi and Malay

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