Teaching Them About The Birds And The Beers

, , , , | Learning | December 8, 2018

(I am an American living in China, teaching young kids aged three to twelve. We have two main categories. The first one is based on age. If you’re three, you go to a specific level, same for four or five. The second category is based on skill, and you’re given a proficiency exam to go into it, or a kid ages into it by completing the first category. This takes place in my lowest level of the second category.)

Me: “Okay, guys. We’re going to learn, ‘What’s up?’ It’s like saying, ‘How are you?’ but more fun. Okay, [Student #1], what’s up?”

Student #1: “I’m okay.”

Me: “Good start.”

(I turn to the next student. He tends to learn things a bit slower than the others, so I expect the exact same response.)

Me: “[Student #2], what’s up?”

Student #2: “Birds.”

(I crack up. I have no idea how he knows this.)

Me: “Great, [Student #2].”

(I keep practicing this for several weeks, and each week [Student #2] always says, “Birds,” probably because I always laugh and he likes the positive attention. Finally, I tell him, “No more birds.”)

Me: “Okay, [Student #2], no more birds. What’s up?”

Student #2: *pauses* “Birds and beer!”

(I’ve had quite a few hilarious instances with the kids in China, and their amazing way with playing with the language, but I have no idea where he picked that up from! To this day, it’s one of my highlights of teaching in China.)

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I Make Sing When I Drink Liquor, Too

, , , , | Learning | December 7, 2018

I teach English in China to kids age three to twelve. I love my older kids, because I get beautiful gems, especially when they are clever and play with the language.

I am correcting some homework when I came across this gem.

The prompt is to write a letter to a friend or family member. Ask questions in the letter. Thank the person for reading and answering your letter.

The student wrote:

“Dear Dad.
How are you?
Do you like sing?
Why are drink lot of liquor?
Thank you to read my letter
Your daughter
Disy.”

I had a lot of fun correcting that letter.

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Disneyland Is Really Swinging

, , , | Learning | December 4, 2017

(I work as an ESL teacher and am working on practicing “Where’s ____ going?” “He’s/She’s going to _____” with two nine-year-old girls. I’ve written down a bunch of locations numbered 1-20 and they have to roll the twenty-sided die to figure out the place, but they’re free to choose the character/person themselves. Lines in [brackets] are in Japanese.)

Girl #1: “Where’s… Mickey going?”

Girl #2: *roll* “He’s going to Disneyland.”

Girl #1: “[That’s pretty normal. He’s just going to work. Okay then, I’ll do…] Where’s Minnie going?”

Girl #2: *roll* “She’s going to the shopping mall. [Aw, that’s mean, Mickey’s off working and she’s skipping off to go shopping.] Where’s Donald going?”

Girl #1: *roll* “He’s going to the shopping mall.”

Me: “[It’s an affair!]”

Girl #2: “[Minnie, how could you!]”

Girl #1: “[Mickey’s out working and you’re having an affair with Donald! Let’s see then…] Where’s Daisy going?”

Girl #2: *roll* “She’s going to the shopping mall!”

Me: “[She found out!]”

Girl #2: “[Ooooh Minnie, you’re in trouble!]”

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Skirting Around The Issue

, , , , | Learning | November 3, 2017

(I teach ESL. I tend to dress very plain-Jane usually, so when I do dress up I sometimes get funny reactions.)

Student #1: “[Teacher]! You’re wearing earrings!”

Me: “Yes, I am.”

Student #1: “What’s wrong?”

(A different day with a different student:)

Student #2: *smiling* “[Teacher]! You’re wearing a skirt.”

Me: “Yes, I am.”

Student #2: “You have date today? You see boyfriend?” *wiggles eyebrows*

Me: “No… no. I need to do my laundry.”

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Some Mothers Wish They Were

, , , | Related | September 28, 2017

(I am teaching a pair of six-year-old twins, a boy and girl, when the topic of birthdays comes up. Talking with them and their mother…)

Me: “…and sometimes twins have birthdays on different days, months, or even years if they are born at midnight.”

Girl: “How can you have a baby at midnight? You are sleeping!”

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