I’ve been asked to provide five possible short stories, which display language errors – for a Korean made English language book – I suppose the aim is to point out possible mistakes that could be made, so that English learners don’t have to make them personally! Anyway, I have to get them done by Sunday! Phew, that’s a lot of work! So yeah, rough and ready; here is the 3rd of 5*:
It’s great teaching younger children English if their language level is advanced – as they possess the same playful imagination you can always expect from kindergarten kids – but they can also express themselves properly through their spoken words too!
I remember with my class last year, we used to have a running joke which I’d orchestrated in order to try and correct some bad grammar they’d picked up from another teacher. You see, any time they had completed their work, they would often announce “I’m finish, I’m finish!”
To which I would reply: “Oh…you’re Finnish? I thought you were Korean?”
Naturally the first time I said this there were blank stares…just totally confused little faces, all staring – wondering what on earth I was talking about. But I was able to explain, and thankfully they actually understood! That if you say, “I’m finish” – rather than the correct, “I’m finished” – it could possibly be mistook as you saying you hail from the wintry tundra which is Finland!
I’d say things like…“Finnish? But I didn’t see you in Finland when I was there! Where did you live?” And usually they would pretend they were indeed Finnish, and make up illustrious stories of how they were busy with the huskis, or building an igloo, or hiding in the snow – or whatever else! And that’s why I probably didn’t see them!
There’d be giggles from the whole class any time anyone slipped up by accident, and in doing so they started to rapidly fix their own errors. In fact they often joked with each other – and consequently put each other right! Not always of course…but most of the time…
I recall once someone screaming “TEACHER! I’M FINNISH!” with an inordinately loud scream! I was busy going through something with another child – so without looking, I mumbled “no, no – you’re not Finnish! Finished maybe, but not Finnish…”
“TEACHER! I’M FINNISH! I”M FINNISH, I’M FINNISH! I’M FINNISH!”
The screams were deafening, and starting to grate on me – so I spun around, and bellowed: “YOU’RE NOT FINNI-“
I was cut short by the sight in front of me – the student was stood on the table, coat hood up – and tied tight, like Kenny from South Park…he had a pencil held out as if he was ice fishing…and had layered on thick board marker all over his face (in an attempt to simulate a thick, bushy beard!)
I haven’t laughed so hard in all my life. He really was Finnish, I suppose.