I honestly don’t know what I find more frustrating.
Is it the fact that you can spend entire lessons teaching a specific sentence structure or grammar point and there will always be one or two students who clearly have not listened to a single word, as is nicely illustrated when they hand in their homework or show you their workbook exercises? Or is it that their other teachers seem to have just as little understanding of the topic as they do?
Honestly, sometimes I just put my head in my hands and gurgle insensibly to myself at my desk.
The above is a page of homework marked by my Korean colleague. We share the class and take turns at marking the homework exercises, which are always simple and designed to practice a point taught in a recent lesson. They are even given the sample sentences and sentence starters to show them exactly what to do. It is not difficult, and any child who has listened in class and made the slightest of efforts has no problems completing the work correctly.
Most of them do, of course, but occasionally you’ll find something like the above picture, as I did today when I was flicking through to the most recent page to do my share of the marking. I said a few incredulous and not-terribly-complimentary words, shaking my head in disbelief, before turning to the next page to take my turn at marking.
Oh, and the sentence structure being practiced here, for your information, was “_______s are insects. They are _________er than _______s.” The example given was “Butterflies are insects. They are prettier than beetles.”
To be fair, I may have taken my frustration at my colleague out on the student somewhat, but really. This kind of thing is probably why there are even native speaking English teachers who don’t know the difference between your and you’re, or its and it’s, or is and are… did their teachers just let them get away with it?
It has been a while since I had a grammar-related rant, but GOOD GRIEF this is annoying!! If you’re going to teach, teach properly and don’t tell a child that sentences like the ones in these pictures are correct! The whole thing makes my mind boggle and my blood boil.
I despair at what the English language is becoming back home, and I know it stands to reason that it can only be worse in a country where it’s a second language – and a very different language, at that. Not on my watch, though. I mean, of course a teacher has to be patient and forgiving and understanding of mistakes. I am all these things, most of the time, I swear (!), but this level of carelessness on the part of both teachers and students drives me up the bloody walls.
It needs to stop now or i is mad go run than his eat leaf. Or something.