Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Interesting Things My Students Have Said This Week

Yes, I do have a few of these guys.
          But they're even worse in foreign language classes because they don't know how to say what they want to say. So they wait a full minute and a half trying to think of the right word for the middle of a sentence, and then, after all that time, finally settle on saying it was "good."

Here are a few of the highlights of the verbal commentary in my English classes:
  • After perhaps over-explaining the assignment to some blank-eyed ten year old boys, one of them stops me with "It eez cool, Madame. we got zis." I think they heard it on TV.
  • "How do you say fuck, but polite?" I told them this was impossible.
  • First, the girl asked me how to say "how do you say." And then once she knew, she started over in English: "How do you say 'douche'?" It took me a second of stunned silence to remember that in French, douche is "shower."
  • "Fillmore, Taft, Grant, Garfield, Coolidge, Washington." This was their answer after I asked them to list six American presidents. Seriously? Seriously? Fillmore?! Are you kidding? Did you, as American citizens, even know that Garfield was anything more than a fat cat cartoon? The facts are in: French kids know more about American history than we do, and we are pathetic. 
  • "What is the difference between 'shut up,' 'shut the fuck up,' and 'be quiet?'" 
          Me: "Shut up is like tais-toi, be quiet is like soyez silent, and the other
          one... is the bad one."
          Neighboring kid, in French: "I told you that's what it was."
          Original kid, in English: "Shut the fuck up, Antoine."


  1. Wow, they are sassy! My student asked me what "dhiiierty dancing" meant. I thought that was bad!

  2. These are the kids of things I would get teaching middle schoolers in inner city D.C., not what you'd expect from little French ten year olds! Holy cow. I have to say though, it kind of reminds me of myself in French class which is pathetic! My classmates and I are always asking, "how do you say blah blah blah...?"

    p.s. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  3. Melissa! I did not realize you had a blog! Awesome.

    The stfu thing is hilarious.

  4. I have had the "how do you say f*ck?" question too! haha.

    I say "bollocks" a lot and I had to explain to one class (who, of course, asked me what it meant) that it was kind of a bad word but not a REALLY bad word. Guess what they're all saying now? I'm just waiting for the parent complaint letters to start rolling in .....

    I literally laughed out loud at the STFU comment. Teaching kids is an adventure that sometimes has it's humorous moments non?

  5. LOLOL at that kid telling him to STFU. That's priceless.

  6. Melissa,
    I am so glad that I found your blog.
    Il y a trois ans, j'étais prof de français au Texas (pendant cinq ans). Il y a dix ans j'ai étudié le français à Lyon pendant sept semaines avec l'Université de Texas. Ma rêve étais d'enseigner l'anglais en France comme vous...
    Maintenant, je reste chez-moi avec notre fille. Je suis très heureuse d'etre "Stay at Home Mom." Votre blog m'intéresse beaucoup.
    Vos élèves parlent bien l'anglais- trop bien!