Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Vietnamese Challenge

I teach an ESL class in an Adult school down in Orange County. I have a pretty mixed group of learners and quite a few of them are very quick on the uptake. I have one learner who is really having a hard time of it and is starting to get discouraged. She does not know a lot of English and the little she knows she is afraid to use. She has been using some of the other ladies in the class as a crutch, by having them translate for her. The thing is they do so much translating that it slows the class down considerably. I asked the other ladies that they should stop translating for her, otherwise she will have a harder time learning on her own.
Last week, she gave me the challenge. She told me through the other ladies that I don't know how hard it is to learn English because I grew up with it. That if I were to try to learn Vietnamese, I would have as much trouble, if not more, as she is having now. I had to tell her that English is actually my 2nd language also.
So, I told her that I will give her a vocabulary list of 20 words that she has to study and learn. I would have to try to learn the Vietnamese equivalent of the list. The "contest" would be oral and the rest of the students would quiz us. There would also be points for pronounciation.
Well, I won. As it turns out, she admitted to be a bit on the lazy side of things...

Song of the Day: "King Of Nothing" by Seals and Croft


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