All our classes were asked to come up with a skit for an end-of-class performance, so my ESL students the first week were came up with two really hilarious skits, both using quite limited English and ending with clever bicultural puns. The girls’ skit had two sisters buying candy from two sisters, with a who’s-on-first around Mei Mei and Jie Jie (little sis and big sis) ending with the explanation “because this is FamilyMart!” I guess you have to know a FamilyMart is a Taipei corner store.
The boys’ skit had increasingly greedy customers making massive orders at a McDonalds, and the final customer was asked “Do you want a hamburger or some chicken, Uncle?” I guess you have to know that Chicken Uncle is the Chinese name for Colonel Sanders, but I thought they were both pretty funny skits. I was pleased to have a group that wanted to express themselves.
At the last minute, admin told me they were deemed unacceptable for our end-of-class skits for, um, reasons that couldn’t actually be shared with me (There’s a lot I miss about working in China, but having someone mumble that maybe someone else might think that maybe something could maybe be done differently in an unspecified way is not one of them), so we scrapped both skits and my students somewhat apathetically sang Try Everything from Zootopia. At least, I think it’s from Zootopia, I’ve only ever heard this song as an end-of-class presentation choice for ESL students.
Try Everything was a popular end-of-class choice when I was teaching ESL at Tufts last summer. My class of Taiwanese college students were the exception to the group singing or half-hearted skits. They did an awesome Jay Chou song and dance, and I was thrilled by their bubbling creativity in pretty much every lesson. This class also taught me half a dozen house rules to improve classroom games of Murder, and burst into song at the slightest provocation. They were a dream class.
This photo is tagged NTNU, because that’s where I was when I posted it, but it was taken at Tufts.