Thursday, October 14, 2010

aspects of comprehension

Today's English sentences I'm glad my students can't understand:
"Jesus Christ, stand up, you lazy bastards." (1-G)
"Holy crap, you guys are assholes." (1-A)
Don't get me wrong, both classes have been far worse. The rough-housing from 1-A is easier to deal with than more disruptive stuff.

I do get surprised. Students have varying levels of ability and comprehension, but I have to teach to the beginner level, because even the ones with better comprehension can't say much. In a more functional system, there would be assessment tests and students would be sorted out by level, but Chile's not there yet.

Gisselle rattled off something in Spanish for me, and I said, "Mas lento [slower]. If I say something long and fast in English, you're never going to understand it, are you?" And of course she got the wide-eyed complete-confused look that I had after her Spanish.

Suddenly the girl next to her, Jennifer, leans over and translates.
"Wait, you speak English?!"
"Mas o menos." More or less.
"No wonder you're always bored."
"Que?" What?
We chatted after class, and apparently her mother has always spoken to her in English and Italian. "No wonder" was beyond her and she wasn't inclined to demonstrate her speaking, but her understanding is obviously pretty solid, especially for Chile.

Who knows what else my kids know? And I'll never find out.

No comments:

Post a Comment