Thursday, February 17, 2011

sentences of the day

These sentences were written by some of my second graders, who are learning passive voice. 

"Moneys are caught by me."

"Vagitable is eaten by me every day."

"World is made by plants."

Passive voice sucks.  I wish that we didn`t have to teach them that at all.  I try to explain that we only use it when we are talking about general things or when we want to take the heat off ourselves, as in the President saying, "Mistakes were made" instead of "I made mistakes."  But the students have a limited vocabulary, which means that we have to use passive voice to make ridiculous sentences like the ones seen above.  I screwed up and told one of the English teachers that "in the world" is okay to say instead of "around the world" so the students are also learning to say things like "Japanese sushi is eaten in the world."  I think it`s correct, but damn, it`s awkward.

I`ve realized that English is an incredibly weird language.  I have new respect for people trying to learn it in all its strange melted-togetherness.  It may as well not have rules, since the rules of grammar and spelling are constantly broken. It is an anarchistic language, especially in the age of Internet speech.  I almost didn`t correct the sentence "Moneys are caught by me."

I hope that no one thinks I`m an awful person for laughing at some of the things my students write. I`m not making fun of them or the Japanese.  I just have to laugh at how silly some of it sounds (come on, "vagitable" is gold).  It is especially difficult for Japanese people to learn English, I think, because they are bombarded by katakana

I will miss this job in some ways, but I can tell that it`s time to move on.  I`m ready to be back in a place where I can read every sign that I encounter and talk to the majority of people I see.  Not that all of the sentences I hear will make much more sense than "Vagitable is eaten by me every day."

No comments:

Post a Comment