7/16/11

How could teaching in English possibly go wrong you ask?

Let me set the scene…. This afternoon I continued teaching the wordless book to the teens with Tatienne interpreting. Arriving at Pastor D’s house, we all assembled downstairs. With 18 teens sitting in a semi circle, I began teaching in English, pausing after each thought for Tatienne to interpret. So far this sounds like it would be safe. I wasn’t planning on spreading any language learning cheer, since I was teaching in English. Wrong. As I began to teach them The Gospel in Motion, I made the sign language letter ‘a’ with my hand while saying, “admit you have sinned.” I was met with horrified looks then everyone (including Tatienne) almost died laughing. Through the laughter (my hand had stopped on the ‘a’ trying to figure out what I had done to cause such a reaction) Tatienne said, “Stop! Stop! That is swearing!” My eyes widened with horror, hand dropping quickly to my side. Trying to regain control of my students I tried to explain amidst the laughter that it was a letter of the alphabet in American Sign Language. Needless to say, I didn’t use the letters ABC when demonstrating in English. We decided it would be best if I used the sign for the letter ‘m’ for all three since all three (admit, believe and  call) begin with ‘m’ in Malagasy. I spread plenty of cheer when I use Malagasy, but this has to be the first time I have spread cheer while using my own native language. Thank goodness no one takes anything I say or do too seriously at this point. J

3 comments:

Ashley said...

That's really funny. Oh the joys of differnt cultures. :)

Lesley said...

Oh my! I was laughing reading this. :D

Nancy said...

Wow, good point! I don't even like those ABC's. I like signs that show sin, Jesus' death, and prayer. Simple, easy to remember.
Nancy