Dave Kees is an insightful English teacher in China who I wish would post more in his blog. He does, however, participate in some EFL/ESL listservs, and I always make a point of reading his emails.

Here’s the content of one he sent-out that I found interesting. I don’t know how accurate Gladwell’s point is, but it is interesting:

“How long does it take a student to decide if you are a good teacher or a poor teacher? And I mean, to come to a solid conclusion about you that at the end of the semester, after experiencing all of your efforts, the student still holds this opinion about your teaching.

Can he make such a judgment in two months? Two weeks? Two days?

How about two seconds?

According to research cited by Malcolm Gladwell, most students can judge their teachers in two seconds and most of those students will hold this same opinion at the end of the semester.

This research is outlined in Gladwell’s book, Blink. But you can find a more detailed outline on his website:


This is a pdf file, see Page 3 where he begins to talk about the research of Nalini Ambady.”