Yesterday I woke up to a group of people out in the courtyard singing happy birthday to Paolo. This is not anything unusual except that it was 5:30 in the morning! In my stupor, I couldn’t decide if they were still up from the night before welcoming the birthday in or if they just got up early to make the most of the special day. Either way it made me feel happy and writing this post today is special because my dad turns 89 today! Happy Birthday, Pa!
That aside, it got me thinking about the idea for this post.
What else have I heard over the last couple of days in our Suzhou English conversational classes that made me feel happy? Better still, what have my colleagues heard?
Allow me to take you on a little adventure where we discover some of the wonderful things our Suzhou students have shared, not only with us but even between themselves.
Suzhou speed dating
After speed dating style introductions exploring conversation patterns, we asked the students about their experience. One said that he thought the conversation was ‘excellent’ as he did not know the person he was speaking with and that now he felt they could become good friends!
This makes us happy as the students build their confidence in introducing themselves using the English language with other students.
A group of female students spy one of our facilitators taking off his Monash hoodie. One comments, “He’s just so attractive!” “Yeah I know,” says another, “even when he’s taking his jumper off!” I inquired as to how the facilitator had understood what they had said, only to be told the students had commented in English!!
This makes us happy as we have a rule that if we hear them speak other than English in class, they have to buy us bubble tea!
Pick up line to a facilitator on the first day of classes; “I have 2 tickets to the Avengers, would you like to come?”
Three students gossiping over a test instead of discussing the task at hand, suddenly realise that one of our facilitators has overheard them. Embarrassed, they stop abruptly and seem quite worried. Our facilitator simply replies, “Oh don’t worry, I’m just excited you’re speaking in English!!”
This makes us happy!
A young man and lady were overheard talking in class. The young man says to his partner, “and that’s why it’s really hard to talk to girls!”
A student comes to English Corner demanding to see a particular facilitator. “Where’s _____ ?” She said she’d be here!”
They have their favourites it seems.
The sassy student who corrected the facilitator greeting the class with “Good Evening.”
“I believe it’s Good Afternoon.”
Now that’s confidence for you!
During the interjection segment of the class, a facilitator is explaining the different emphasis on Awww (sad) and Awww (when you spy something cute). One of the students explains it so succinctly. “The first is when your boyfriend hasn’t replied to your text message and the second is when he has.”
On our first day, we made it quite clear to the students that our conversation classes were not going to have tests or exams. And then we began distributing one of the tasks, a matching exercise, and a facilitator hears, “So much for no tests.”
One of the students in our workshops watches a scenario being played out by the facilitators around feedback and solving problems and says, “That’s so nice, can I work for you?”
Oh, and one more exchange not spoken but communicated on WeChat. This made us laugh!!
Thanks for reading 😊