Posted in English as a Second Language, Japanese Culture, Japanese Language, Teaching Adventures

Homophone Mishappenings

I was teaching a Mommy and Me English as a Second Language class to a lovely young mother and her two-year-old son. The lesson’s topic was body parts. Not wanting to use Japanese to explain the meaning, I would touch the location of the vocabulary word and then move such anatomy in a goofy way. This game was quite popular with the two-year-old, and I was feeling on fire as a teacher, for we were in that beautiful intersection of learning, engagement, and genuine joy.

I said, “Touch your chin,” and proceeded to place my finger on my mentum; however, Japanese-toddler logic mandated not the mentum as modeled, but what he very knew to be his chin. You see, “chin-chin” (ちんちん) is the Japanese kid word for penis.

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Posted in Teaching Adventures

Classroom Conversations

I keep a list of some of the humorous, if not ridiculous, verbal combinations that have come out of the mouths of students, myself, and colleagues while teaching middle school. The list is sure to grow as my teaching experience does. For anonymity and alliteration, All teachers’ names have been changed to “sensei” and all students’ names have been changed to “student.”