Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Dictation

Work started again today, at one place, after the New Year break. It also finished, which is absurd, but never mind. At the two other places I work we also start this week, with some classes meeting only once, others twice, and a few for three more weeks. It's the raggedy-arse end of semester.

In my classes today I had the students filling in feedback forms for me, telling me what they liked and didn't like about the course, what they found useful, or not useful, and so on. I told the students that this survey was for me, and was not official. I had already done the grades (in fact I was filling in the grading forms while they were writing) and they could write honestly. I often find these surveys helpful when I plan the next semester.

Some of the students took this seriously, and others didn't. It didn't really matter. I just wanted a general idea, anyway.

In my favourite class there, the one with the higher level student who has spent some time in the U.S. (learning naughty words), the students took the survey very seriously indeed. They were in groups, and helping each other with words and expressions they weren't sure about. The higher level student was being very helpful, I noticed, offering suggestions and so on. He read aloud something one of the other guys wrote, and told him the English was wrong. The student told him what he wanted to say in Japanese and erased the incorrect part. Then the higher level student dictated the correct English to him, with great seriousness. This took a long time, because the student was a slow writer.

"Because of your class ..."

"Because... of... your ... class..." muttered the student, gripping his pencil and writing with great care,

"... my English has improved."

"... my ... English ... has ... improved..."

"Thank you very much."

"Thank ... you ... very ... much ..."

"I can use many words I didn't know before."

"Too fast! Again?"

"I can use ..."

"I ... can ... use ..."

"... many words ..."

"... many ... words ..."

"I didn't know ..."

"I ... didn't ... know ..."

"... before."

"... before."

"For example ..."

"For ... example ..."

"... now I know ..."

"... now ... I ... know ..."

"... the meaning of ..."

"... the ... meaning ... of ..."

"... handjob."

"... hand ... job."

The writing student frowned and read the last bit again. His classmate watched patiently, waiting for the penny to drop. It was a very slow penny, but worth waiting for.

"Hand...? nani...? CHOTTO MATTE!"

When that particular paper was finally handed in to me, a part of it was almost worn through from violent erasing.

5 comments:

Wiccachicky said...

LOL!!!! I am totally busting a gut. That's hysterical. You should keep that form for yourself to laugh at later on. That guy is such a prankster isn't he?

Robert said...

ahem... we need to examine your curriculum! Sounds far more interesting than Homer and Shakespeare.

Cheryl said...

WONDERFUL!!!

kenju said...

You should write a book!

BobCiz said...

how can I get in your class? I need to learn some of those words