A Canadian writer teaches English and finds out what it's like to be a foreigner.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Mind your Ps and Qs

It's hard sometimes to shake unplanned native expressions when you're teaching.

You want to be as informal as possible when you speak of course, to get the kids accustomed to how English is spoken naturally, but every now and then you break out the idioms or abbreviations without realizing it.

"Teacher! Come here please!" (this is something I had to vigorously drive into their heads through a steady process of instructing the proper expression, while ignoring anyone who said simply, "Teacher! Coming!" or "Come on!")

"Just a sec," I said to the student.


"A sec, just a sec," I said absentmindedly, trying to finish writing on the board.

"What is that?" she asked.

"Oh..." I clued in, "Sorry... Ahh... "sec" sec is short for second, like smaller than a minute— a very short time."

There was single beat of what sometimes feels like precise comic silence, since I always end up laughing over what is said next.

"Sex?" she asked innocently.


Anonymous said...

I want just a sex too.

Irrelephant said...

From the mouths of babes comes...wow. *lol*