sympathy vote

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sympathy vote

Postby indoctrin8 » Mon Feb 23, 2004 7:55 pm

i get shocked sometimes at what my students' idea of "smalltalk"
is...
a 7a recently asked me the best way to say "my mother has just died" in english, and i've got a level 3 who is a nightmare to warm up. talk about past, present or future, she'll get her dead husband in somehow.

don't they KNOW these subjects are entirely inappropriate for a conversation class? are they doing it on purpose?

even the old "how are you?" "i have a cold"

talk about conversation stoppers...
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Postby Ojii » Mon Feb 23, 2004 8:38 pm

Conversational interaction between a native and non-native speaker often results in breakdown if a deficient in cultural understanding exists.

This is a topic deep in the heart of linguistics. Chomsky (1965) placed a great deal of emphasis on grammatical knowledge and his theory was blindly followed until Hymes (1972) and others as they argued that other forms of knowledge were important as well, i.e. discourse, cultural and strategic competence.
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Postby supersonic » Mon Feb 23, 2004 8:43 pm

when i worked for NOVA i remember one student's respone to "how are you"was to tell me in great detail about how he was suffering from chronic diarrhoea.mm thanks for that.still better,i guess,than just "fine thank you"..or not!!
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Postby valve-bouncer » Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:02 am

Mate I think you're missing a perfect chance to help your students by not jumping on these cultural points. Some would say that you can't teach a language without teaching the culture. Tell 'em straight that that is not really how we speak in English.....last thing they want after spending all that money is to make cunts of themselves when they speak. Think of yourself speaking Japanese, when I make mistakes with, for example, the level of politeness needed in a certain situation I feel stupid. So would your students I reckon.
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Postby fivefivefive » Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:32 am

There he goes again. With his sensible well thought out posts.
I dismay... I really do.
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Postby indoctrin8 » Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:41 am

i dunno....you can talk about differing cultural definitions of smalltalk,
but i dont think ANY language encourages you to bring personal bad news to the bus stop.

"how are you?" "my penis is suppurating."

they know fine well its not appropriate.

i no longer ask "how are you?"
here, chewing your tail is joy.
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Postby sirwanksalot » Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:52 am

valve-bouncer wrote:Mate I think you're missing a perfect chance to help your students by not jumping on these cultural points. Some would say that you can't teach a language without teaching the culture. Tell 'em straight that that is not really how we speak in English.....last thing they want after spending all that money is to make cunts of themselves when they speak. Think of yourself speaking Japanese, when I make mistakes with, for example, the level of politeness needed in a certain situation I feel stupid. So would your students I reckon.


Have to agree with you there valve.

There are a lot of things I've heared students say that might get them in trouble back in the real world. They are paying alot of money so they do need to be informed. Also I try to teach nonverbal communication as well.
Charades works well.

Also some common slang is usefull to know for them too.
To bad eikaiwas dont seem to care about teaching culture.


Have fun at the Eglish factory :D
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Postby barten » Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:54 am

indoctrin8 wrote:"how are you?" "my penis is suppurating."


Now I know what's been missing from my introductory small talk! I always say "arm your students with as many useful phrases as possible", and that's not just useful, mate, that's essential!
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Postby redpower » Tue Feb 24, 2004 9:09 am

Once at ECC I was teaching a Voyager class (high level) with 2 women in their 50s. Once man arrived 5 minutes late and apologised for his lateness. He was a retired teacher with super vocabulary but excruciating grammar. He informed us that he was late because he had been to a hospital. Sensing danger I started to get on with the lesson but the old bloke piped up " do you want to know why I went to the hospital" I replied that if he wished to inform me then it was O.K. He then asked the two other women who followed my lead. He then told us that " I went to the toilet this morning and found blood in my semen".

Now people say teaching eikaiwa is easy but it is times like that that you earn your money. The two other women did not understand fully what he had said and so looked to me for a simpler explanation. I assumed that he had meant to say "urine" and so had to correct that. At the first chance I had I started the lesson.

My chum was once in Voice and was trying to conduct a debate. The topic was " Fast food is bad and should be banned". He was eliciting points on the board when a salaryman in his 30s said " we should ban fast food because it makes people very fat" he then pointed to a large 20 something woman and said " like her for example".
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Postby valve-bouncer » Tue Feb 24, 2004 10:43 am

"Blood in my Semen".....bwahahahahahaha....sounds like the name of a death metal band :D
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Postby DragonEagle » Tue Feb 24, 2004 4:24 pm

I've gotta admit, I've heard more J-peeps talk about how fat other people are and how badly they have diarrehoea that a class full of elementary school kids. (But I guess they would just kancho you here...)
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Postby supersonic » Tue Feb 24, 2004 4:28 pm

valve-bouncer wrote:Mate I think you're missing a perfect chance to help your students by not jumping on these cultural points. Some would say that you can't teach a language without teaching the culture. Tell 'em straight that that is not really how we speak in English.....last thing they want after spending all that money is to make cunts of themselves when they speak. Think of yourself speaking Japanese, when I make mistakes with, for example, the level of politeness needed in a certain situation I feel stupid. So would your students I reckon.


I did.I told him..hmm,we don't really like to give quite as much information when asked how we are.Maybe "not bad"or something.this kind of thing you would only really discuss with your close friend.Or no,scrap that,your doctor...I don't even want to hear that from my good friends.... :shock:
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Postby redpower » Tue Feb 24, 2004 5:02 pm

This reminds me of the time I went on a date. I met the girl and asked her what kind of food she wanted to eat. She replied that as she was suffering from diarrhoea and so could we eat something light. When I asked her later if she would have told a Japanese man she had geri she said no.
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Postby MacGyver » Tue Feb 24, 2004 6:55 pm

So why do they think its OK to tell a gaijin then???
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Postby Examination_Hell » Tue Feb 24, 2004 8:57 pm

So why do they think its OK to tell a gaijin then???


'cause some of them don't know any friggin better.

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Postby duma » Wed Feb 25, 2004 1:09 am

I don't know, sometimes I'd rather get the story of all the health problems than the following exchange every fucking day:

Me: How are you?
Student: How are you?
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Postby SrinTuar » Wed Feb 25, 2004 4:07 am

duma wrote:I don't know, sometimes I'd rather get the story of all the health problems than the following exchange every fucking day:

Me: How are you?
Student: How are you?


Hrm, funny, thats how I answer.

Its clear that the phrase is a greeting, and that nobody really cares how you are, so I simply respond in kind.

To make it more clear, I slur the phrase together,
like "Hey, hwarya" or " 'sup", or possibly "Hayadoon man".
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Postby redpower » Wed Feb 25, 2004 8:18 am

I once had to level test a student at ECC who had asked to take the test. The first question on the test is "How are you?" The student replied rather angrily, " I am 35". I chuckled.
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Postby Examination_Hell » Wed Feb 25, 2004 10:41 am

Can remember many "conversations" that went something like this:

Me: Hi there.
Student: Yes fine thank you.

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Postby supersonic » Fri Feb 27, 2004 4:21 pm

Examination_Hell wrote:Can remember many "conversations" that went something like this:

Me: Hi there.
Student: Yes fine thank you.

EH


so funny!as with above conversation..i've had this one too,but also..
me:"how are you?"
student:"how are you?"
me "no,how are YOU?"(stressed to try to prompt them to reply)
student:(not picking up)"how are you?"
sometimes this is repeated over and over just to see if they get the point.But they never do,so I have to explain the principle of greetings over again.Funny sometimes,though.
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Postby LeBlueBoy » Tue Mar 02, 2004 3:19 am

redpower wrote: He then told us that " I went to the toilet this morning and found blood in my semen".

I assumed that he had meant to say "urine" and so had to correct that. At the first chance I had I started the lesson.


I wouldn't have caught that....I would have suggested to the guy to relax and try choking his chicken before his morning coffee.
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Postby Moi » Sat Mar 06, 2004 10:42 am

supersonic wrote:
Examination_Hell wrote:Can remember many "conversations" that went something like this:

Me: Hi there.
Student: Yes fine thank you.

EH


so funny!as with above conversation..i've had this one too,but also..
me:"how are you?"
student:"how are you?"
me "no,how are YOU?"(stressed to try to prompt them to reply)
student:(not picking up)"how are you?"
sometimes this is repeated over and over just to see if they get the point.But they never do,so I have to explain the principle of greetings over again.Funny sometimes,though.



LMAO! That just reminded me about something. I'm sure all of you without the names Mike, John, Chris, etc. have had this experience

Me: Hi, how are you?
Student: hi.
Me: I'm george (not my real name)
student: I'm gyouji?
Me: No, no, no... I'm george.
Student: no... I'm gyougi.
Me: *pointing to myself* No, no, no. I'M george.
Student: *pointing to themselves* eh?
Me: My (god damn freakin) name is george!
student: ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah. sou? Amerikan name?

OMFG.

(btw, I am american, just not named John, Mike, etc.)
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Postby GaijinPooka » Sat Mar 06, 2004 11:05 am

Bwahahaha those exchanges are comic gold, especially the blowjob one.
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Postby valve-bouncer » Sat Mar 06, 2004 12:32 pm

DD....that's great mate........Shawn/Chris this has gotta go in the stories section, funniest shit I've read on this site :rotfl:
"That's your homework" bwahahahahahaha.......was wiping the tears away over that one.
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Postby fivefivefive » Sat Mar 06, 2004 1:36 pm

dd That was fucking priceless!!
The class next door are getting pissed off with me for laughing so loud.

(and hell has a special spot for people who rip the shit out of their students.... I'll bring the beers)
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Postby AndreBone » Wed Mar 10, 2004 5:19 pm

dogdays, I love those so much. I swear to god you could write a whole book of 'em!
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Postby DragonEagle » Wed Mar 10, 2004 8:13 pm

Conversation the NOVA way!

With a pink rabbit on the cover!!!!
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Postby AndreBone » Thu Mar 11, 2004 2:32 pm

dogdays wrote:I think that they are really only for those who "know" what it is like to be in Eikaiwa.


You bring up a sad truth here. There are millions of hilarious things that happen to foreigners living in Japan, yet we're the only ones who understand the humor.

I guess that movie, "Lost in Translation", was pretty funny (haven't seen it yet) but I heard it only goes over the obvious stuff.
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Postby GaijinPooka » Mon Mar 15, 2004 9:18 pm

Yeah, trying to tell folks back home any stories from here is an exercise in non-fun.

Even after almost a year I still tell the same people over and over the same few things. I dont teach only kids, its not a normal 'school'. You can't really buy panties in vending machines' Anime/mange/otaku stuff isn't widely accepted and loved by all.

No-one seems to understand without exposure I guess.
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Postby duma » Sun Mar 21, 2004 12:27 am

Gaijinpooka wrote:You can't really buy panties in vending machines


Yeah, I'm getting fed up of explaining that one too.
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