The nice thing about teaching ESL is that the potential for unintentional humor is quite high. One of my favorite examples comes from my best class, five conversational students ranging from third grade to sixth. The oldest student, SY, watches wrestling often and will come into class with questions about things he heard pretty frequently (I refuse to explain the shocker to him, no matter how many times he asks). So the other day, he asks if "son of a bitch" is a bad word. I told the class it was sort of a "medium" bad word, not too horrible but you wouldn't say it in front of your parents. I gave examples of using it as just a curse and of what it meant literally. SY seemed to absorb all this thoughtfully and we went on with class. The next day, he interrupted our definitions as if he'd just thought of something.


"Yes. SY."

"Son of bitch is bad word, yes?"

"We talked about that yesterday. Yes."

"Well, if you say son of bitch, can you say...daughter of bitch?"

And really, why can't you?

1 comment:

janjanmom said...

I think it is the extra syllable that kills it.

Hello from KY, found you through The Median Sib. As a homeschooling mom, I have enjoyed your thoughts on education and your comparisons.

I will enjoy sifting through your blog history as we seem to have some way different viewpoints, which I consider to be a totally wonderful opportunity to learn and have some of my beliefs challenged. My blog is a pity party right now...sick kids=whiny posts. Come by anyway if you wish. ( :