Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Kids Say the Darnedest Things...

My mum is a teacher. My whole life I've been listening to stories from her classroom that have had me in tears from laughing so hard. Kids just have a way of framing their world in words that can be either profoundly astute or deeply humorous. Actually, I'm not really teaching children. My students are 14 to 17 years old--solidly teenagers. They are more like American children though than American teenagers. This is partially due to the language barrier--most of my students are on a 1st or 2nd grade English level. Their childishness is also a factor of their relative lack of maturity, which comes from growing up in a collectivist society that does not place value on individualism (aside: On a index of individualism, the U.S. ranks a shocking 91%, while Indonesia brings up the rear of the rankings with a 14%!). And my students have come out with some hilarious statements and questions so far!
I handed out a "personal fact sheet" to my students the first week I was here. The purpose of the sheet was for them to introduce themselves to me so that I could tailor my lessons to their interests and make English relevant to their lives. I asked questions about their families, their favorites (color, food, music, sport, book, etc.), their hobbies, and also why they wanted to learn English. I'm going to share some of their responses with you now (some funny, some inspiring)!

What are your hobbies?
-"Play football, I'd like to eat a meatball."

What do you want to be when you grow up?
- "I want to be a sailor man."
-"I want to be Advokat [advocate]."
-"I want to be U.S. Army."
-"I want to be President Amerika, like Barack Obama."
-"I want to be a succesman."
-"I want to be a human which usefull for everyone, I want to be a career woman."
-"I want to get job and mate."
-"I want to make my parrent happy."
-"Man succes."
-"I want to be an ARMY."
-"Body builder."
-"I will look for many science for my life in earth and the here after."
-"I hope become a electrical."
-"I hope become a elektion."
-"Super viser in big office."
-"A poem."

What do you want to know about America?
-"I want to know how America be a forward country."
-"I want to know the faforite foot in America." [I checked, this was not a spelling mistake, he did not mean food]
-"Why Americn people are tall?"
-"I want to know about night race in the street. It's ilegal."
-"I want about, do you life?"
-"Most of the American tall?"
-"About people, football [soccer], and girls."
-"America have a people is very smart?"
-"About America have Amazon River." [several students asked about this, in Indonesia "America" means U.S.A., so they must think the Amazon River is in the U.S.]
-"The brain of people."
-"I want to know about morning activity of American's peoples."
-"America is the country that people have attitude like: dicipline, clever, but not too polite them."

Why do you want to learn English?
-"Because English is verry funny!"
-"Because I want to add my knowledge more spacious again."
-"I am forget."

What about English do you think is fun or easy?
-"I think learning English is fun or easy because the teacher is friendly and beautiful."
-"I think learning English is fun because Miss Sarah is very beautiful."

Photos of the students to come soon!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, yes! Kids do say the most incredible things... It's clear that you have inspired their curiosity, interest and love. Looking forward to more quotes and photos!
    Mum xo