August 29, 2014

LINKED IN DISCUSSIONS




         
QUESTION BY :- VENGATESAN Sundararajan
If you have any amusing incident when teaching English, please share.
VENGATESAN SundararajanEnglish Language Teacher,Top Contributor


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Stephen
ESL Teacher at Kangning English School in Taiwan
I was teaching an elementary class in Taiwan. The kids were talking about a Taiwanese philosopher that claimed the next day was the end of the world. I asked for a show of hands of who actually believed the world was ending the next day. Only 1 hand went up. I asked the student, "If you really think tomorrow is the day we all die, why are you sitting here? Go home!" He asked, "Really?" I said, "Yes, if you truly believe tomorrow we all die. Go home. You have far more important things to do tonight than sit here and listen to me." He thought about it briefly and slowly packed up his books and walked out of the room.

I continued to teach and about 5 minutes later the student came back in. I asked him what happened. He said, "If I go home now, my mom will kill me." I put my arm around his shoulder and said, "So you either die tomorrow or you can die tonight?" He said, "Yes."
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Bee Bee
Associate Lecturer at SIM University
I was teaching a course called General Paper, which all high school students have to take. One exams question for the paper reads: what are the benefits of reading. One student wrote that the benefit of reading is it helps the brain develop horizontally. I asked a colleague who taught the same course what he made out of the statement, and he said 'Maybe the student is talking about lateral thinking.
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K R
active member, Expert Panel at Quadruple Education Network Private Limited, Chennai
Top Contributor
This happened in a foreign country where I was contracted to teach English. I was the class teacher for class XII. There was a column in the the register for age. I asked each one and almost everyone said anything between 15--19. I said, 'You all looked much older.' They agreed and said 'Sir, you decide and tell us.' (!) Looking at one, I said, 'twenty five', he begged to be recorded twenty. (!)
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Phil
Consultant CiE International Ltd (Oil and Gas Recruitment)
I had a large intermediate class and someone at the far end of the room asked me if I could speak higher. I said 'Yes, OK' in a very high-pitched voice. It took another 10 minutes before they, or I could do anything other than laugh!!
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Magdalena
Sworn Translator at District Court
My story is not so much about an incident as about an extremely lazy but ambitious and resourceful high school student of mine. He never reviewed the material we covered, but he was always keen on getting good grades (aren't we all...). In one of the tests there was a fill-in-the-blanks exercise and the words were given, so he just had to put them in appropriate places. He only knew two, yet he didn't give up. I could hear him say: "This word 'drizzle' haunts me. I will put it in all the other sentences. One of them will have to be correct!" :)
This resulted e.g. in the following sentences: "One of the drizzle sprained her ankle in the race", "We followed the drizzle into the village" and "There is a special drizzle on flights to Germany this week". :)
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Jelena
Director of Studies at New Visions School
Well, while teaching a group of adult learners, A2.1 level, we spoke in turns about hobbies and interests of our friends and family. As he was describing his children, one of his sentences made us all laugh, although I tried so hard to pretend everything was fine. He wanted to describe his son's preference to ball sports so he said: "My son likes to play with his balls." I just couldn't keep my face straight.
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Jenifer
Freelance consultant
I had an observer from another college in watching my class, as our college was considered as a model of good EL teaching. We were doing a unit on talking about measurements. There was an exercise with sentences like A litre of water weighs 1kg. Does a litre of oil weigh one kilogram? Two students started arguing violently about this- one said of course a litre of oil would weigh I kilo and the other said it wouldn't. I said- but a litre of mercury or lead wouldn't weigh a kilo. They both completely ignored me and I couldn't shut them up, nor could the other students get a word in edgeways and they continued to argue about it until the end of the lesson. The visitor left wondering if this was good ELT what bad English teaching would be like, and I slunk out feeling six inches tall. (Or would it be 10cm??).
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edgar
ESL and Spanish tutor, editor, translator
I asked a young Japanese man in one of my classes, a college graduate, what he had majored in. He was a very low-level English student. He simply says to me, "Finish." I replied,"I know you finished. What was your MAJOR?" He replied once again, "Finish." I tried a third time. "Yes, I know you graduated from college. I understand that you are done with college. What did you STUDY when you WERE in college?!" Now he shouts at me, "FINISH!" Then it hits me. "Ohhhhhh, you mean your major was FINNISH, the language of Finland!?" He nodded yes. We both got a good chuckle out of that one. I had and still have never heard of anyone else to this day who majored in Finnish!
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Tal
Independent Educator
Hilarious episodes! Certainly, an ESL classroom can open up very funny situations -.at times. The best option is to keep a straight face and control one's very strong urge to burst out laughing! Thank you for sharing.
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Bruce
at
I once had a student ask me, "What is a potato clock?"
"Umm, I really don't know ... I've never heard of potato clocks."
"Well, my roommate needs one."
"Really? What for?"
I don't know, but last night he said, "I'd better get to bed. I've got to get up at eight o'clock tomorrow." (...a potato clock ...)
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Bee Bee
Associate Lecturer at SIM University
One of my Chinese students wrote in her essay that she likes eating snakes. Since I know snake is a delicacy in Chinese cuisine, I asked her if that was really what she meant. She nodded her head and said "yes". I drew a snake on a paper and asked her "snake?". She looked puzzled and shoot her head. Finally, I wrote in the paper and asked her "Snack?". She nodded her head in agreement. I supposed she also pronounced both words "snack" and "snake" in the same way.
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Mária
teacher at school
I had been teaching in an Elementary school named after Bem József for 38 years,and I stopped,because I retired this year.I was a hard-working teacher,coordinator of theComenius Projects.I did my best for my school,my city Nyíregyháza, and my country Hungary.I had to travel several times to be a representative of Hungary.On Teachers'day I expected some moral awards,but I got nothing.My Headmistress' best friend got the award,prize and money although she did almost nothing.My colleguages were shocked.I wrote a letter to the City Mayor,but I have not received any replies since June.I was said to be awarded on our national holiday 20 th August,but I got nothing.Corruption is corrution in Hungary
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Jude
Recruiter and PR Specialist at Gold Star TEFL Recruitment
We just started a new class for 3-year olds a couple of weeks ago. One student (a girl), was playing with her shoes, so in order to get her attention, I knocked on the floor. She responded... "Do you want to build a snowman?"

After realizing that she wasn't supposed to sing, she showed me this embarrassed look and her cute little smile. Every time I try to get other's attention in class and knock on the floor. She would just look at me and smile. :D
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Jason
Kindergarten Teacher at Gesellschaft zur ganzheitlichen Bildung
A couple months ago I was working in a kindergarten in Germany, getting the kids exposed to English. One Monday, literally less than 30 seconds after walking in the door, one of my boys comes running up to me and says, "Jason! I learned a new word in English! Shit!" DIED.
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Srividya Ramkumar Is
teacher at indian school muscat
Children have different ways of seeking attention either by speaking louder or remaining silent,our effective individual and personal communication more effective and enhances learning language
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Lisa
Cross-cultural communications and freelance writer.
I taught English in the Middle East to a class of 10 year olds. One day I was telling them a story about a little boy called Peter, who lived on a farm, helped his parents on the farm when he came back from school etc. The whole class fell about laughing. It took me some time to realise that they thought it hysterically funny that I was telling a story about a young kid called 'Pitta' (bread).
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Alison
Cross language/culture communication expert
I was teaching a class of international adult students in my hometown in New Zealand, and one of the students asked me where I was from. I was puzzled and when I asked him why he asked this, he said that I didn't speak like the other teachers at the school. I didn't realise that "kiwi" accents were that diverse!
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Minhaj
A consultant in teaching & core product,an Entrepreneur,Law associate to ad.Omar Faruque & associates, Marketer,Writer
Top Contributor
I had been taught business English and international trade procedures and methods somewhere in Dhaka. The class module was 30 units for 3 months, including 15 classes for corresponding and speaking English.

All students were much matured not having min.12 year’s education. In one module, I completed 3 or four classes for international trade, and I put an example from BP (British petroleum) that a slogan I was used to watching in the Economist mag: "In business and politics what you know doesn't matter, it is a matter of whom you know!"

9/10 clients or students were in my class, from them later day or few days after, I observed 5 students were presence only and then have been presence to complete my full course lecturing. I couldn't have tried to learn from administration if they had answered me anything except implying me they had paid full course fee.

Later, I called two of them over phone managing the contact number, one was retired Lt. Colonel another was much solvent---answer was from both of them---you had shown me the exact path so why did I waste my time then! Both of them now are big Garments owners at Dhaka, very much successful.

I still make chuckle sometime, oh! Gosh, really, real businessmen realize many things earlier which are pertinent to bring much money only not to learn anything--a crude veracity on earth.
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