Kids Say the Darnest Things

Trip Start Sep 26, 2011
Trip End May 06, 2012

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Flag of France  , Rhône-Alpes,
Tuesday, March 27, 2012

If you have ever been around children, or at least seen a movie with cute child actors, you know that some of the things that come out of their mouth can be absolutely surprising. Now working as an English language assistant and teaching French primary students a second language (in English, nonetheless, not teaching in French) I hear some of the funniest phrases and words coming from the mouths of my students. 


As you may have experienced already while learning a new language, that vocabulary and conjugation aren't necessarily the hardest things to learn, but in fact, it's pronunciation or phonetics. In addition, growing up and learning your own native language, you are accustomed to hearing the same sounds and pitches, so to hear another language and learn it, can be challenging. No matter how hard I try, to my students and unfortunately their teachers, the number "Six" always comes out as "Sex". I've also heard from a fellow assistant, that her students also confuse the word "Socks" with "Sex" as well. Let's just hope they get this mastered before they go order "Six" burgers at a restaurant in America.

"A-LEE-SSA?!...I love you." 

I was wondering if this would ever happen to me and it finally did. One of my students told me he loved me. Granted, he is one of the few bilingual students in my schools, and therefore understands more English than a majority of my students. However, the longing and intense look he gave me while uttering those three little words kinda scared me for a bit. "I think this child actually has a crush on me?!" Who knew I was so lucky to get singled out? Then again, he could be saying this to all the other teachers. 

"Next week, we are learning about the 'Wizzer'."

QUOI? What? Last Tuesday, one of the teachers I admire for being very innovative and creative with her English lessons, informed me that we would be working on the "Wizzer". Unfortunately, I didn't react in the politest of manners and responded with a loud "QUOI?". She repeated again, about three times, until I finally understood her "Wizzer" was in fact "Weather". We would be learning about the weather in class the following week. I quickly informed her that was the incorrect way to pronounce the word and she asked what "Wizzer" means. I told her that a person who takes a "wiz" is peeing and therefore, if you wanted to make a noun out of it, I suppose you could call that person a "wizzer". She must have been practicing the pronouncing the word all week, because this morning she approached me with a broad smile on her face and said "Remember, today we start the "WE-A-THZER!" Much better. 

"Cock or Monkey" 

I think you may be able to guess what this story is about based on the title. I've been reading "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?" with many of my younger classes. Then after reading the book, I've created a few games to help the students remember the animals and colors in the book. While playing one game of "What animal is it?", one group of students choice a number and had to guess what animal is behind the number. The whole team was screaming that this poor kid "monkey, Monkey, MONKEYYY". Unfortunately, monkey did not come out of his mouth as the name of the animal, but instead the student loudly shouted "COCKK". The whole class giggled because of his obvious mistake, but what they didn't realize was what this student said in English. Let's just say that students in America would laughing for different reasons other than a slight mistake in pronunciation. 
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