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The Difficulties of Teaching English


sunny 8 °C

A couple of weeks ago, my class was learning vocab for describing people - Tall, short; freckles, bald, ponytail, mascular etc. I assigned them homework at the end of the class to bring some photos of family or friends and we could take turns describing them. I figured it was a nice way of personalising the task and granted the opportunity of asking lots of follow-up questions; next week we would discuss personalities.

So, Student A brought in some nice photos of co-workers and his family.
"He's tall and has brown hair."
"She's short, has black hair and blue earrings"

Student B brings in some photos he took at a recent car show. Bikini clad women stationed at booths, drapping themselves across cars. Heres a close-up of the material on her top, a shot of her woman-ly curves and another zoom in of her backside. He sat with a devilish grin.

So my group class had a test today. They were given a Japanese instruction sheet informing them that for the duration of said test I couldn't help them with grammar or pronunciation.

Moments before they began, I handed them a topic card each and instructed them to talk for at least 10 minutes; use the cards as a conversation guide and ask follow-up questions of your partner. One of card requested the student ask about others favourite possessions. He quickly asked me to define this word and I described it as favourite items or things. I commented, maybe for him, it was the photos he showed the other week.

The stop-watch was set, my pencil sharpened, the marking sheet poised and ready to capture comments of the session.

Remember, I can't help you. Are you ready? Begin.

Student B: What's your favourite POSITION?

10 minutes is a long time to stiffle a laugh. I'm sure I caused myself some serious damage.

Posted by ImpBob36 03:10 Archived in Japan

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