Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Teaching English to little kids is hilarious. Here's just one example:

I have a class of 5 kids, all between 6 and 9. 2 boys, 3 girls, and they all have major personalities. One day for our warm-up, I did the usual game of finding things around the room.

"Find 1 dog." Screaming and running until someone spots a dog.

"Find 2 birds." More screaming and running and pointing.

"Find 3 strawberries." This one takes more time, but they get it done (screaming and running of course).

"Find 2 bananas..."

This is where it all fell apart. We have two plastic bananas as part of a fruit basket set, but that's not enough for each kid to hold one. The boys got to the basket first, so the girls figured out another way to participate.

"BANANAS!!!!!" one girl yipped as she held her hands around a long imaginary object in front of her jeans zipper. "BANANAS, BANANAS!!!!!" the other chimed in as they imitated the same hand gesture. Then someone swiped a plastic banana from one of the little boys and used it as her prop.

Exasperated, I tried to steal the plastic bananas away from them, but it was too late, the madness had taken over. Truthfully, I was trying really hard not to fall on the carpet laughing with them.

(A week later at a festival, a Japanese man gave a small, baked sweet potato to one of my friends and then explained with his hands and words what he thought it looked like. We were mortified. He must have met my students.)

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