November and December are traditionally grueling months. Work builds up, reports must be written, goals and targets reached, assessments prepared, Christmas shopping (usually if you are a woman), the roller coaster of activities keeps on mercilessly gaining speed, office parties, client parties, luncheons with friends, clients, ex-friends, and the list goes on. And I’m only talking about the students’ lives. Even Santa Claus drinks too much this time of year (and I’m not talking only about cider) – with all due respect, not sidetracking too much – a friend of ours drank a 750ml bottle of Pinot Noir in less than an hour, alone – and she said: “That’s nothing. I’m used to that. Hiccup”. But we did realize she was slurring her speech a little and laughing a little louder. Enough said.
No wonder that at this time of year, students are tired, worn out even. Consequently, they can’t produce a better English level – even sometimes their thinking process is slowed down. Take today’s only class for instance. Dear student R is a sweetheart but it’s still hard to imagine that after let’s say, 20 plus years taking English lessons – she still asks – ‘is raining today, teacher?” – I encourage her to repeat the question and notice what’s missing and good-humouredly say: “is raining’ or it’s raining’ require the same energy. Use the right one”. And R just says: “Ahhh teacher, I’m tired (or sick, or sleepy).”
During our lesson today correcting last week’s homework on the Chocolate Conundrum, a quite interesting story in the Guardian listing the problems farmers, processors and manufacturers are facing with falling production and growing demand for chocolate. The article mentioned an example in Indonesia, of course, R mispronounced it, I corrected her and expected to move on, but she got stuck in that nation (chuckles) – and tried to say it again and again while asking me to repeat the word. Until I blurted out: “Forget it! No point in spending energy in learning how to say “Indonesia”. How many times in your life are you going to say this word?” WOO-WOO-WOO (danger alarm) http://youtu.be/PowGPSdAxTI. ATTENTION. Don’t go down that lane. Take a deep breath, Mo.
The class ends with my dear student pronouncing “CEREAL” as “SURREAL” – but that’s ok. I’m sure she’ll be better rested come January.
4 Replies to “ESL Christmas Madness”
I just flinched a little bit at the grammar. You definitely need this: yoga for holiday stress http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/12/all-i-want-for-christmas-is-yoga-for-holiday-stress/
Have your students already started their break? If not, give them yoga as homework to keep their brains from turning to mush during finals season haha!
Hope you have a great holiday!
Thanks Stacy for your feedback. Did you flinch on my student’s or my grammar? LOl. Interesting idea about the yoga tips. Thanks. I’ll start them with the breathing exercises first.
Haha! I flinched at your student’s grammar!
I had a professor who would make the class stand in tree pose for a few deep breathes before she started the lecture and it was always very helpful to me. It gave me a moment to focus and come back to the moment. I hope it helps your class!
Thanks. I’ll give it a try.