Tuesday, 20 October 2009

PostHeaderIcon How to purposely fail a class

Good evening.

Tuesday night is when I teach my advanced adult class the wonders of the English language. I gave up trying to act like a real teacher as they are near enough fluent. Therefore I spend my hour an a half talking about the news, Scotland, Japan and history. Occasionally I will prepare something of interest with mixed results. As I was running late this afternoon I decided I would teach them some dark humour. I prepared the most simple explanation I could and showed them a web comic that I like. Considering it takes me a short time to process some on them myself... I knew it was going to confuse them in spectacular fashion. So for nothing more than my own enjoyment... I printed off some and sat with anticipated glee at the thought of watching old, countryside women stare vacantly at a cartoon depicting jokes about death and war. It was wonderful. Here are a selection of some of the less... crude.

"I don't understand. The doctor is pointing to the bee? Oh it is an eye test? In Japan, our eye tests are.... different. So bee is wrong? The doctor meant E? Did he say it wrong? Oh it's a mistake? Why didn't they check again before the operation?"

"What's Vernon? Oh, is that the universe? Why is there many capital A? Oh it's a name? What's that? Oh he's burning to death? Is that funny? Snow? I don't understand? The astronaut is a snowflake now? I don't understand"

"Oh the colours are different? Why did the mother and child change? Oh they are different? One is a storybook? I don't understand. So what one is real? So the rabbits are bad? Oh YES YES! I understand! They ate the carrots!"

They were all very valid points of course. This is what happens when you are not in sync with the same language and culture. There is a cartoon on the milk cartons here written in the local dialect. All the old people love it. I'm always confused even when I try and translate it. One had a grandpa and grandson drinking the milk. Then they took off their clothes and started dancing.

Anyway, it was fun. Here is one I really wanted to use but didn't have the bottle despite it being the most relevant in the country of train.... accidents.


Anonymous said...

Lovin' it!

Thanks for sharing - made me laugh so much. So what is with the milk story you talk about briefly in Japan? pics?

Jamie said...

Hello. I accidentally found your blog, and I must say that I thoroughly enjoy it. Having lived in Japan myself (teaching English, no less) I can relate to your plight about trying to teach people of a different culture something that might be funny to you. I had similar experiences with my own adult students. Thanks for the laugh!

Ahoy hoy said...

Thanks for the comments lads.

There are local cartoons on the milk they sell here. I'll try and photograph one and... translate it... but I'll probably fail.

Japanese people have a weird sense of humour. They laugh at slapstick stuff that was only popular back home in silent films...

Anonymous said...

They laugh at your face too Craig. That isn't slapstick.

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About Me

I am a 24 year old Scotsman currently teaching English to Japanese schoolchildren. I live in a small town on the east coast of Kochi prefecture.