Monday, August 12, 2013

My words my wish: A classroom experience!

It is customary in a school set up to intellectually debate over what has been written in black and white viz. personal letters, official letters, notices both formal and informal etc. And there are a handful of teachers who actually specialize in language teaching. I am no exception. That’s right I teach English for my living. I do not claim either implicitly or explicitly that I am the all-knowing saint in English. Reader’s discretion is advised! I do enjoy teaching English and there are some senior students who like me have a passion for writing. 

One in particular, our bell captain writes beautiful verses on love. I call him Tshering Keats Tobgay after the romantic John Keats. 

Fridays are grammar days and after teaching children the word ‘Sizzling’ with its root word “Sizzle” and after all the obvious input on this word, I asked my class to mentally construct a sentence using the word. 0f the 28 sentences I listened to, one in particular made me ‘laugh my heads off’. The genius in the front told me, “My aunty is sizzling”. He came to my school from a remote school and I am definitely sure that he didn’t mean to say that. I asked “Where is your aunty now?” and to this he said, “Yuekha (village)”. I had to re-teach the word ‘sizzle’ again. 

Some days ago, I watched a humorous video on youtube about an English teacher who scolds his class for not greeting him. He says, “Teacher enter. No notice. Full insult” in a typical questioning Indian accent.  Likewise the news reader of TV’s and radios especially ours  have much to learn. I sometimes feel they didn’t do their home work well. So, my mantra for getting rid of speaking and writing badly is to read. Just read! Otherwise we will choose to believe; ‘English might be the most widespread language in the world but there’s still no ham in hamburger, no egg in eggplant and neither pine nor apple in pineapple’ and left out of time.

English has all the features and attributes to make it a universal language, with its own complexity and uniqueness. Lets us not add to it our own version of linguistic jargons as our children already have indigestion with grammar. We cannot afford to say MY WORDS MY WISH, whether or not if its right in the literal sense.

Good day folks!

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