Stick has an adult class on Thursday nights, and I often go with him. It’s a class for students who want to pass their conversational English exam, so it’s a good chance for us to ask questions about Chinese life.
He received the list of discussion subjects, in Chinese, a few hours before the first class, and got them translated into English a few minutes before class. Well, almost translated, “vacation” and “vocation” may only be a letter apart, but they’re quite different conversational topics. (If the translator’s primary school teacher had been allowed to teach phonics, that might not have happened.)
“When are we going to start our stories?” one of Stick’s students asked last week.
“Stories? What stories?” he asked.
It turns out that Stick’s class was supposed to be preparing compositions based on that list of conversational topics. To pass their conversational English exam, student write a short piece on one of the selected topics, and recite it to their examiners. The testers will then ask them some questions based on their composition, so I suppose there’s a little bit of non-memorized English.
I don’t know which is funnier, that Stick assumed that he’d need to teach conversational English for students to pass their conversational English test, or that he taught from September to November without anyone mentioning that he wasn’t covering the material.