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ESL forum > Ask for help > Colloquial English    

Colloquial English



roneydirt
United States

Colloquial English
 
        Now I have a very bright student in one of my classes and don īt want to hamper her learning, but she keeps correcting my English with colloquial British English in the middle of the class.  I am looking for the best way of explaining this.  I pointed out some words were changed because of "Printer īs English" because there was not enough space on the paper so they took creative innitiative to change some words like Mathematics to Maths which is mainly used in England compared to most that use Math.  Then some are used for so long they will add it to textbooks and dictionaries.  She follows her favorite teacher that says, "if it is in print it is correct."  I do not want to destroy her hero, but want to show that sometimes even in print there is mistakes.  I even showed different articles but did not tell her before hand it was an article in a book or the newspaper.  Any suggestions?  It has become a little disruptive in the class.  Worst this is a payed class and she is from a very powerful family.  Which also makes another question... have you ever had a class with a bodyguard with a concealed gun sitting in your class?

21 Nov 2010      



ELOJOLIE274
France

a bodyguard with a gun - even if it īs concealed...- is sitting in your class?? i just can īt imagine how it feels like... am I the only one shocked?

21 Nov 2010     



MoodyMoody
United States

Yikes on the bodyguard! I am fortunate enough to work in a location where weapons, not just guns, concealed or open, are forbidden. Then again, my students are more likely to work security than pay for security.
 
It sounds to me like your student is trying to throw her weight around. You have tried to reason with her and it hasn īt worked. Try talking with your boss about the problem and see if your boss will support you when you assert your authority as the teacher. If so, discipline her in whatever way you and the school see fit. Maybe assign her a report on different dialects and usage of English. Point out that all works in print must be examined because no one is perfect, not even editors. Remind her who the teacher is (hint, NOT HER!) Tell her that every time she disrupts your class, she is going to get more homework.
 
If your school won īt support you in reasonable discipline, it may be time to look for another job.

21 Nov 2010     



nombasa
South Africa

No concealed guns - just visible ones! all police here are armed and I have a few police in my adult classes.
 
How old is this student?  I would try to talk to her in private (with her body guard) and explain that it is difficult to get through the work if you have to keep talking about vocab which is not relevant to that lesson.  I also might suggest that she should find another more suitable class!!!!!!  Take your money (and guns) else where.
 
I once had a student who also thought that he knew a lot more than I did.  He was in first year degree class.  I found him quite intimidating.  However he is now in his third year and realises that he does not know as much as he thought.  So perhaps have a lesson which is of a much higher grade than normal  That might sort the boys out from the men so to speak and take her down a peg or two without insulting her directly.
 
If all fails I īll give you some trully colloquial English (Scottish actually) that she is unlikely to know.  That will baffel her.
 
Say to her "Fit like ma quine?"  See if she understands.

21 Nov 2010     



edrodmedina
United States

Roney.. How about having her keep a journal. Whenever she comes across a word she disagrees with u about have write it and give her side. You collect the journal at a given interval and return it to her with your comments. You keep an open dialogue with her but there is no interruption of you class. Ed

21 Nov 2010     



roneydirt
United States

I am in a country that owning weapons is highly illegal and being found with them can be a death sentence.  They say they are equal but the more they try to prove it the more it looks like America part 2 the rich verses the poor.  I have been in some of the richest schools in America and now China and some of the poorest.  I have been a millionaire and homeless.  I even have 4 official death certificates and the one thing I have learned is no matter what the law or rules are there are always exceptions to those rules.  One of the times I lived on the streets we had a game on who got to eat that night was to spot the person with the fat wallet and the one carrying a weapon.  I usually won but would pass the food to the weakest of the group I was with.  Now it may sound as garbage or I am just saying something that may be hard to prove but out of the official 8 teenagers I had adopeted the last one is about to graduate in December.  I am very proud of her....  she was raped at 14 and now has 2 children and now a college degree.
 
Moodymoody have tried to reason with her but it fell on death ears.
 
nombasa they are around 14 years old and I would take take that colloquial Scottish English as well.  Have used southern north American English on her.
 
I do not want to ruin her and her gift of language but want to show that just because it is in print does not always mean it is correct and that she is using British colloquial English when she is correcting me.  At the same time want to help the rest of the students without hurting them.

21 Nov 2010     



roneydirt
United States

thanks Ed I am trying that with their diaries... the argument was correcting diaries sentences at the beginning of the class and it wasn īt even a page fron her diary but another student.

21 Nov 2010     



nombasa
South Africa

She sounds to me like a child with a lot of problems.  I was taught that if a child is an attention seeker, give them more attention than they seek.  It is pretty tough going, but in the end, it help to create a true confidence and not a false brash confidence.  Then you will be able to step down on the added attention. 

It sounds to me as if you have had a great deal of experience with life and dealing with kids of that age.  I think you probably know instinctively what to do, but haven īt yet put it into words.  Wisdome in teaching is hard and we often doubt ourselves.  I think that your best bet is to get to know her and her body guard.  It is easy to get irritated (both you ad her) with a faceless person.  But when that person becomes a real person, whose life interacts with yours, then both you and she will have a deeper appreciation of each other.

This process could be a real turning point for her.  I wonder how many people have actually every really listened to her and shown her any real interest or encouragement.  You have obviously worked wonders with your adopted teenagers.  Now time for you to work wonders in this child īs life too!

Best wishes.

21 Nov 2010     



MoodyMoody
United States

Yes, I know your reasoning with her fell on deaf ears. Now it īs time to see if your school will back you up with real discipline. I doubt physical punishment is a good idea, but extra work may be. Nombasa īs idea of giving her more advanced work (and I īd say as punishment and for credit, myself) is excellent. And make her do it herself in class or as detention if your school allows that. If you give it as homework, she might pay someone to do it for her.
 
And if she can do it easily, then as Nombasa pointed out, she īs in the wrong class and she īs bored out of her skull.
 
(P.S.: What part of the South (USA) are you from? Native North Carolinean here.)

21 Nov 2010