At A Turk

18:18 Tuesday July 3rd

One reason I qualified as an ESL teacher, as opposed to any other kind of teacher, is that I much prefer to teach adults. It's many times easier to learn a foreign language if you're a child, but you're more likely to want to learn if you're an adult.

Business English is frighteningly dull, Technical Writing English has weird grammar, and Conversational English is basically a massive list of nonsensical idioms to memorise. <i>But</i>, there is demand for these things, and the demand is mainly from adults.

So...yeah. My youngest student is 3. My oldest is 17, and the one below that is 10. And there's a 1 year old wandering around, and a 5 year old with the level of a 3 year old having tantrums in the next room.

So I'm teaching my least favourite age group, and I'm teaching them basic grammar - my least favourite subject.

And I'm depressed. And I can't tell how much of that is nothing more than doing an easy job that I happen not to like. And expect to be doing for another few months. And possibly longer.

This morning I managed to make it somewhat easier, by getting the laptop to talk to the TV. Because children (and adults actually) are much happier staring at printed text on a glowing screen, than the same text handwritten on a whiteboard. And if they like static video, they <i>love</i> moving video.

The day before leaving, I loaded up on kids TV recordings - Shaun the Sheep, Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Wolfblood, The Dumping Ground and such - in the hope that I could use them in lessons. And now, I can.

This morning it was "Introduction to Phrasal Verbs with Shaun the Sheep". Tomorrow it will be...actually I've no idea how to do "Personal Pronouns with David Tennant's Doctor Who". But if nothing else, a slideshow of animal nouns is available - I put it together six years ago, from a clickbait webpage of "Amazing Animal Photos".

It gets dark here at around 18:00. After which, there's two or three more hours of children running and shouting in the house. Running, shouting, laughing, playing, fighting, falling, crying, arguing, slamming doors, scraping knees, squealing for no reason, from c07:00 to c22:00. Good thing I work better at night.


  1. Awesome lesson plan. I think people learn better when it's fun! Oh, children, so carefree and innocent at that age. I often mourn that they have no idea how lucky they are at that age, when they are clueless and untested yet by the troubles and burdens of the world. And I try to remind myself to look at life with that childlike wonder, to do the things that make me happy, to have an adventure every day.

    People are often surprised to learn where I grew up. I speak very clearly and have no discernable accent. Usually, most folks from my area speak with an accent and use a dialect. I talk in the dialect naturally when I'm back home or hanging out with others from my home region. I learned to speak clearly to other outsiders from watching tv shows and just adapting the rhythm and style of the actors. But I also retain the habit of adapting to local dialects and picking up the slang and pronunciations and phrases. Helps me blend and fit in better, making me more effective and persuasive in the local community.

    Enjoy the experience of teaching young minds about the world beyond their borders. You're helping them be the best people they can be. Cheers!