Adventures In Tutoring

I met Joe about a month ago when he asked me to sub for Christina’s class one day, and he’s offered me occasional tutoring and substitute gigs since then. Subbing in an American middle school looks like torture, but subbing for Chinese-middle schoolers rocks. Basically I turn up, introduce myself, giggle at a few of the more creative English names, then we chat about iPods and CounterStrike or play some games. This time, he had a class of 10-year-olds, which means more Meg Says and less actual teaching.

“Sure, I’m free.” I said. “What did their regular teacher cover last week?”

“They don’t have a regular teacher.” Joe said.

“The class is in 4 hours and they don’t have a teacher?”

“That’s why I called you,” he said. (Duh! I know the engine’s on fire! That’s why I called a mechanic!)

Good thing I went, though. While I was in the midst of explaining the rules for Verb Charades, I happened to look at the wall behind my students, and noticed something odd with the language poster.

Usually these posters are something like this:

Language centers are full of these posters. A bit of a random assortment, a touch of Chinglish, and some rarely used idioms but nothing memorable. But what caught my attention — and almost stopped my class — was this one:

I wonder if they make a wallet-sized version for easy reference on the go.

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0 Responses to Adventures In Tutoring

  1. Elliott Ng says:

    I wish I could say this was Chinglish but…I’m afraid some of the phrases below are quite accurate. Hard to look in the mirror at your own culture from someone else’s eyes, eh?

  2. Meg says:

    I know! I’m thinking they’re probably phrases from American movies. Or else the makers thought “Enough with the idioms! Let’s teach some practical phrases… like what American teens like to say!”

  3. Marius says:

    I also thought most of the sentences were quite accurate.

    I added your pictures to the Chinglish Dictionary.

    I hope you don’t mind. If you object, please let me know on the forum and I will remove them. Thanks! -M

  4. Anonymous says:

    How exactly does one pronounce “****”? Is it your job to teach that to the kids?

  5. Meg says:

    The Chinglish bit was “Don’t count to me” in the first picture. I’m thinking they meant “Don’t count on me”, but maybe it’s a phrase for people with a deadly fear of numbers.

    Marius — Awesome! Glad I could contribute!

    Anon — How funny would it be if someone wrote **** in the middle of a writing assignment?

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