Monday, June 11, 2007

Language fun


The kids have to do English studies at lunch time, on top of their school work at school. The English requirements in the local school do not even begin to approach the level at which the girls function...no surprise there, and so we have a regime.

Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays are dedicated to spelling. Tuesdays they have to do a page of grammar from their text books, and Thursdays they have to produce an original composition and we edit it...this frequently generates the spelling words for the next weeks test. They are also required to write in a journal every day...well, not weekends.

For the last week or so as we realised that the school year is nearly done and we were not really nearing the completion of the grammar book, we have jettisoned the spelling and we are doing grammar and journal every day. Whew. Lots and lots of grammar. We should get it done though.
Youngest was complaining about the work, but cheered up when I pointed out that I had been teaching the same material to an adult college professor that day. Now that makes it all seem more interesting doesn't it.

As I was reviewing her journal with her, there was a phrase that filled me with confusion. Apparently her sister had been on 'filled tripe'. Now as a mental image this is a pretty good one. Tripe is that white jiggly corrugated spongy stomach intestine stuff. Now what could it be filled with, what would it be like to sit on and why on earth would she be doing it?

After a pause I realised she meant that her sister had been on a 'field trip', which if your eight is not really that big a spelling error, and funnier to boot.



One of the students today was also trying to tell me something about Denmark. He was talking about 'Peking goose' and gesturing to large ears like a bunny. Now this was pretty confusing to me...I had to go over it several times in my head, and you may need to say 'Peking goose' out loud several times with an imitation of a Spanish accent while waving your arms above your head imitating giant bunny ears. Now you need to explain why you are doing this to your nearest and dearest, or the guy in the next cubicle....

What he meant was 'Viking house' and the large bunny ears were of course the horns on the helmets. Again though I had a delightful mental image of a dish of Peking duck, in Denmark, with giant bunny ears. Surrealist painters must have been language teachers on the side. Such a rich repository of the strange and nearly impossible.

One of the students laughingly confessed that when confronted with an English speaking tourist the other day, he had dusted off his skills, given directions to the person, and told them that it was a good hotel, they sold both food and 'dreams'.

Now wouldn't that be great? Maybe the BFG works there.

3 comments:

Beth said...

Is that chuck? He is going to miss your hikes when he's in toronto.

Trish said...

LOL, word mix-ups can be so funny!

"filled tripe" the image alone.....

oreneta said...

Beth: Yeah, that's Chuck. We're both going to miss the hikes when we get to TO...

Trish: They are so funny...I hate to imagine what I have said in Catalan!