Friday, December 5, 2008

Classroom Charades

It's really interesting teaching English as a Third Language when I don't know the first or second languages of my students.

Their level of English is quite good, but every once in a while they have a question about a word. Since my Arabic is extremely limited and my French is even more limited, I have to resort to charades.

"Cry" was easy. I just put my fists up to my cheeks and made a really sad face.

"Extinguish" was a bit more challenging. Finally I came up with using my fingers as a flame. I blew on them, and they receded.

But how do you act out "polite" or "visit?" Yeah, those stumped me too. I tired offering English synonyms, but they were met with quizzical looks. I whipped out my Lonely Planet Moroccan Arabic-English index, but it didn't have the word polite (although the equivalent for visit was easily understood)...

Turns out, in situation like that you simply wait for your Fulbright partner to come back. Then he can explain what the word means in Arabic.

Maybe someday I'll be able to do that too...

1 comment:

Dorese said...

I can just see you acting out charades for words like 'polite'... but images of a sweet "old" lady enthusiastically reciting "lime jello marshmallow cottage cheese surprise" keep coming back into my head... (or was it green jello?)You seem to really be enjoying yourself, and I'm so glad. :D