Monday, September 21, 2009

The Water is Peeing!

My students say a lot of funny things... I've decided to share a few with you. Most of these happened today...

While I was waiting for the students to finish writing in their work books... Andrew, a student who had finished asked me, "Teacher, Obama live in blue house?"

"No, Obama lives in the White House."

"Oh. I thought it was blue."

Many Asian people have problems with their r's and l's ... they often switch them. So when they say "classroom" it comes out as "crassloom". Well today our lesson was on words that have 'al' in them. One of the vocabulary words was "ballroom". You can understand why this would be a troubling word... but it was extremely intensified by the fact that the l and r were next to each other.

I only had two students. This is the class where they used to sit and stare at me with completely blank expressions as I asked them questions... they now have loosened up and are my favorite class. Our Principal said that this is probably the first time most of these kids have met a foreign person, so it is very intimidating.

So two students... and it took me over 30 minutes to try and get them to correctly say "ballroom". I had drawn pictures of how their mouths should look when saying an l and and r. We went through constant lalalalala's and rrrr errrr rrrr errr's. I finally got them to correctly say ball... and then room... but when I had them put the words together, it came out as "barloom" "balloom" "bahroom" "bal oom" "bloom" "bar oom". I drilled it and drilled it and finally I heard ballroom! Unfortunately, that was a once in a lifetime occurrence, and I never heard another ballroom all day. So over 30 minutes in to my 50 minute class and I hadn't even accomplished past the first word. Fail.

Later in the same lesson I showed them a flashcard of a waterfall. "water!" "water!" I said, "Yes, but what is the water doing? Where is it going? Is it staying still?"

Now, usually when you ask them tough questions like this, they do a ton of gestures, usually with "yes, it this... it this..." Well this was no exception. They kept trying, "down" "no down?" "down!" "water!" "under" "lake"

And finally Max had the most excited look on his face as he shouted, "Yes! The water is peeing!"

I couldn't stop laughing. My two students couldn't stop laughing. I finally told them it was a waterfall and they had an "ahhhhh" look on their faces.

As if ballroom and waterfall aren't tough enough words for beginner students, they decided to throw "waltz" in the mix. The flashcard I showed them was a cartoon drawing of a man and woman dancing. All of a sudden Amy can't stop laughing. It takes me a few minutes for her to calm down so she can tell me what she is thinking. "The man is very sneaky!"

"Sneaky? What do you mean? How is he sneaky?"

"Teacher, this." as she points her fingers accentuating his ridiculously thin waist and legs.


"Yes!" and the laughter continued...

In my very naughty class, we had the same lesson. I showed the flashcard of a picture of a mall. They looked at me very confused - and were shouting random words that made no sense. Finally I hear Sunny, my little shithead, yell "Mall!"

"YES! Great job!"

And instantly my whole class was in uncontrollable laughter, even my Korean speaking co-teacher. They laughed for about two minutes before my co-teacher told me he would 'splain lata'.

He "lata" told me that Sunny hadn't said mall... but he said the Korean word for mall, "mall-a". The kids were in shock that I: 1. let him speak Korean, 2. understood it (which I didn't) 3. was so excited that he knew it.

The other day one of Andrew's students pointed to the hair on Andrew's arm and shouted, "FUR!"

We had book reports due on Friday. While grading them we have had an extremely hard time trying to figure out what some of them are saying. I wrote down two to share with you. "Summer weather is hot in order to do in daytime to night there is a moon" Now try and correct that sentence.

And the other one I just found funny. He was supposed to list the five senses, touch was given to him as an example. He wrote "run, smell, spick z say, listen".

And the mistakes don't only happen in the classroom. Koreans often say "sh" instead of "s". So the grocery store that is under our school is called "Lotte Super" and they say "Lotte Shuper". Now you can imagine how funny it is when someone tells you to "shit in the chair".

Today our Principal was giving a meeting and was talking about a document. She was talking about a sheet of paper. Now try and keep a straight face when your boss tells you, "We don't have the shits yet, but we will have the shits soon. Tomorrow I think."

And I'm sure that won't be the last posting like this!

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