Just Some Anecdotes

Christmas Ham | Free Vectors, Stock Photos & PSD
Photo credit: Freepik

I'd like to share some of the light moments I  had with my ESL students during our classes. 

My ten-year-old student (a boy) and I were reading/discussing a story about a poor old man who could get all the food he wanted, thanks to his old magic machine he got from a dwarf in the forest in exchange for a piece of ham.  Solemnly, the student told me, "Teacher, you say to the old man, just tell his machine  to give him a lot of money.  He has money, he can buy food, he can buy... mmm... a very big house. The old man can't think very well." 

Before reading a short story, I chose some words which I deemed would be difficult for my nine-year-old female student. The words are the following:  FIREWOOD, GIFT, PASS THROUGH A FOREST, DWARF, MACHINE, MAGIC, and SECRETLY. After explaining the meaning of the words,  I sent her a picture of a big piece of ham. 

"Based on the new words that we learned and based on the picture, can you guess what our story is all about?" 

"Yeah. The dwarf went to the forest. He passed through the forest. He got firewood and he made an oven. And then, he cooked ham. He gave the ham to one dwarf secretly." 

"Why did he share the ham to only one dwarf?" 

"Because...hhmmm...  there was only little ham. The other dwarfs will say,"Give me ham, give me ham", but there's not enough ham."

Dwarf | Free Vectors, Stock Photos & PSD
Picture credit: Freepik 

The same nine-year-old girl learned the word DILIGENT on another day. To familiarize her with the word, I said, "You always wake up early and you do your homework before you go to school, right? And you also help your mom with the housework, right?"


"You are a very diligent girl. Your sister is also diligent, I'm sure."

"No, my sister is not diligent. She always plays games. It's okay. My sister is a kid."

"Your sister is a kid, yes, but she's 12 and you're 9."

"Her heart is... a kid."

When teaching ESL, expect the unexpected.
Smiling Face | Free Vectors, Stock Photos & PSD
Photo credit: Freepik 


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