Tuesday, February 2, 2010

ESL Teaching can be hilarious

I have recently taken on a few new classes at my school - Homeschool. I am now working for them everyday which is no issue to me because I really enjoy it there. The new classes are kids with a lower level of English. In my classes I also have a Vietnamese teacher as an assistant who generally have a very good level of English.

Whenever I start new classes my first lesson is an introduction. I introduce myself and ask them to do the same. I ask them to write their name on a piece of paper so I can take a photo (my only way of remembering) which makes them laugh. I find out all the kids ages and get them to guess mine. I have learnt now to not take offence when they shout out 50 or 100 for my age. I do a simple hangman game for the word A U S T R A L I A and then explain that is where I am from. The kids will all generally shout out "kangaroo" which is normally the only word they can relate too Oz.

By now the kids are comfortable with me and speaking English. I then draw a big question mark on the board and give them the chance to ask me a question. This can be a hilarious activity and here are some of the questions I received yesterday;

Student: "Why don't you have any hair?"
Me: "Ummmm......Because I choose to shave it", mimicking an electric razor. "Yes, it's a choice" to which I ask the Vietnamese teacher to explain choice. Phew, dodged a bullet there.

Student: "Can I come in?"
Me: I don't know why but this made me piss myself laughing and I didn't know what to say to the little girl who was happily sitting on her chair.

Student: "Do you love her"; pointing to the Vietnamese teacher.
Me: Arrr........awkward.

Student: "Who kisses you"
Me: "My wife"; pointing to the ring on my finger.
Student: "Is she pretty"
Me: "Yes" which resulted in absolute hysterics from the whole class. I missed the punch line on that one.

30 seconds later after the class calmed down

Student: "What's your name?"
Me: I smiled pointing to the board showing him where in big letters I had written MY NAME IS DAN. Realising this was exactly what we had covered in the introduction he covered his mouth with a smile.
Same Student: 5 seconds later he raised his hand with avid enthusiasm. "Where are you from?" to which the rest of the class shouted A U S T R A L I A and burst into a laughter, me included.

Student: "What do you want to be when you grow up"? with a serious look on his face.
Me: "Umm, good question. A fireman"
Student: "Wow" with an amazed look on his face.

Good times.

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