Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"Dear Lord, help us f@$%-us"

Like I said, my new job is in a bilingual school targeted towards lower income families. Monthly tuition is probably less than you spend in gas each month. Therefore, the teachers aren't held up to quite the same standard as say, the American School.

And so I get to correct English grammar and pronunciation all day. And. I. LOVE. it.

I am a stickler for poor grammar...and bad vocabulary. And when speaking to people that speak English as a second language, I've always wanted to interrupt and be like, "oops, you mean you taught it, not you teached it." Or, "hey lady? I think you mean, excuse me miss."

Well, now it's my job to do that. !!

My favorite correction so far has been the mispronunciation of the word "focus."

"Meees," yes, all of the employees call me Ms. but pronounced Meeees, "how do you say this word?" *shows me a piece of paper with the word focus*

"How do you think you say it?" I asked.

"My English professor in the university says you say it like this - f#$%-us." (okay, hint, it rhymes with duckus)

I tried to hide the horror on my face. (helllloooo, this is a Christian school!) "No, it's definitely fOH-cuhs."

And so last Friday I did a pronunciation workshop and spent two hours going over the pronunciation of the 40+ English sounds. Like the difference between in the /th/ sound in thy and thigh. No, not die and die....which is what they kept repeating to me. Or the difference between the /i/ and the /I/ in heat and hit. Which, in case you were wondering, is not heet and heet.

:) This is so. much. fun.


Alejandra said...

Oh you must be having soooo much fun! I remember when I moved to San Pedro (The first time). My English teacher was terrible! It was ridiculous to try to understand anything she said... So I just gave up, read my book and study...

But it was even worse when I decided that I needed to get a diploma that said that I did speak english... My dad wasn't going to pay for the Americana, because it was too expensive, so I told him that I wanted to take an english course, as my birthday present, so I could have the diploma for my C.V.

I picked one I´ve seen on the newspaper and took the sufficiency test... They placed me on the last level because they couldn´t let me take the conversational levels without taking at least one of the grammar ones... I got 100% in the 5th level and when I moved to the first conversational level my teacher (Who studied in the States) said that I shouldn´t be taking that course because I should actually be teaching it...
I thought it was encouraging but my dad wasn´t so happy about it... Because, what teacher thinks there´s nothing left to teach you... My english is not THAT good! :-p

But I see the worse bit now, when I find my old classmates and they try to speak in english... It´s horrible! Terrible pronunciation, messed up tenses, and really strange words I´ve never heard before... It´s very uncomfortable because, for some reason, I feel guilty and switch back to spanish as soon as I can.

Honduras Sprout said...

I too enjoyed this part of teaching English. I loved it when we would tangent off and spend lots of time talking about pronunciation.