Thursday, July 15, 2010

Let's talk about...

I don’t know if it’s summer, the ongoing sunny and hot weather, the holiday-spirit, or whatever. The fact is that I never had to hear so much sex talk in my life as in the past couple of weeks. Whatever reason they came up with, my students always managed to find a good excuse to start talking about xxx-topics! Take a simple, innocent lesson: the alphabet. Try to make the alphabet with all the words you already know in Dutch. Bingo: it was enough to trigger first giggles, then fits of laughter, and finally every imaginable word that has never been on my white board ever before. “Wait, I know a t-word….Wait, wait, what was “nipple” again in Dutch?”
Take another (boring) lesson: household appliances. For instance: a vacuum cleaner. In Dutch : a stofzuiger. “Oh my god! That means dust SUCKER! Sucker!” Bingo, 5 minutes of crazy laughter, and not able to teach one more word.
And then I’m not even talking about the stories I heard about role plays, about how sex is seriously the single best thing to beat stress, or about the fact that Latino’s are the horniest people in the world (oh, really?).

Sure, they had their reasons.
“I have a Dutch speaking husband! I have to know these words in Dutch!”
“I’m going to university in the Netherlands! I need that kind of vocabulary!”
They even wondered why “sex” was not a standard chapter in every single language course book.

All craziness aside, I had a great time with this very international group (Estonia, Romania, Singapore). I’m sure I made a few new friends. And they did learn a lot, in between all our hysterical fits of laughter. So when yesterday, after our last class, they confidently ordered our goodbye-drinks in Dutch, I was the proudest teacher ever!

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