Smelly cat

The past two weeks I’ve been teaching 3 women new to Africa some language learning techniques, the same ones I’ve used.  They’re practicing using these methods on French before they move out to a village to learn the language they’ll be working in.

Today I was bonding with them after class. We were watching an episode of Friends where Phoebe teaches Joey how to play the guitar-by practicing in the air.  He questioned this method, and she said something like "No touching a guitar!" 

At this point, one of my students turned and looked at me. 

Great.  I’m teaching language acquisition like Phoebe taught guitar. 

Ok, there are certain parallels.  It’s a strange technique to them, they’re not using textbooks, a teacher, or any traditional methods, and I’ve asked them to delay doing a lot of talking in their sessions for the first few weeks.  But, um, I speak a few languages slightly better than Phoebe plays the guitar?  The methods are based on solid research with proven results?  My hair isn’t blonde?  Help me here…

One thought on “Smelly cat

  • Thanks for your comment on my blog – I’ve added you to my blog roll and RSS reader. I look forward to more good stories.
    Your language learning teaching sounds fine to me, but I’m not convinced of bonding by showing ‘Friends’!
    Stuck on my own for a weekend in NDjamena and wondering about watching a DVD on my laptop.

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