Thursday, February 28, 2008


I just remembered a funny "conversation" I had with a couple students the other day.

I was coming back from the vending machine (vending machines are EVERYWHERE and it is WONDERFUL) with a nice tall bottle of tea to soothe my aching throat when,

Student 1: Give me?
Me: No! No! Kaze desu! (= I'm sick!)
Student 1: Me too!
Student 2: Cold?
Me: Yes, I have a cold.
Student 2: Healthy!

This is a pretty typical "English conversation" that one might have with my students. I have another student that likes to ask me questions after class, but it's not so much a question as words said like a question...

"High School Musical?" (Points to himself, then me.)
--> I interpreted this as, "I have seen High School Musical, have you?" Last week the question was "Favorite movie?" (points to me). A couple weeks ago it was "America election? I like Obama." (Side note: apparently, all of Japan supports Obama but not for any real reason other than they like him.) I appreciate that he tries, but I don't know if he understands my answers!

Or you might run across one of the handful of students who are practically fluent. Then the conversation starts something like this:

"This school is very boring. It is too easy. I should have gone to a different school."


"Please only call on me today. Do not call on him (pointing to the only other student in class who volunteers answers). I want all the points. Please don't call on him."

Fun times at Kabutoyama High.

Japanese phrase of the day (part 2):
Odaijini! Take care of yourself! (Which is what that student might have meant by "Healthy!")


Candice said...

You should be applaunded for understanding these one word questions!

It's wonderful the students are trying to speak English even when their vocabulary is so limited.

*** said...

oh high school!

miss you!

studentlia said...

"There are grammatical errors even in his silence." Stanislaw J. Lec

Good on you for you trying to teach ESL. Keep trying!