A few months ago, I shared some of the essays that my advanced teen students had written on their favourite place in Russia. The overwhelming majority of them chose their own hometown, and the result were well-written, moving reflections on the importance of their family and friends in establishing a sense of home and community. For the final test of the year, I skipped the usual essay question and asked them a series of questions about English (with one trick question at the end!). Their answers are too good, cute, and funny not to share!
1) Why are you studying English?
- Because I want to know some foreign language and English for me the easyest and studying helps me to fill my time with great pleasure.
- I want to be a programmist, and all computer languages are in English.
- I want to speak English free and can speaking with people of another country.
- I'm studying English because I just like it. That's all.
- I'm studying English for many reasons. First, I need it to get good Job. Secondly, its intresting. Thirdly, English is international language and everybody should know it to communicate.
- I want to get a well pay job.
- My dad.
- I want to talk to people from different countries.
2) What is your favourite word in the English language?
- Congratulations! I don't know why :)
- Cookies (accompanied by drawing of cookies)
- Bad-ass :)
- Maybe, or possible.
- F*** (except without the asteriks...and followed by the student writing - "I shame of me! :)"
- I know, that this sentence is the most beautiful: sellar door. I don't know why, but I love this sentence.
3) What is your LEAST favourite thing about English?
- Causative have.
- Grammar...I hate grammar!
- Pronouncing the word "although" (Russian doesn't have a "th" sound, so this is a very hard word for my students to say!)
- Phrasal verbs, I hate them.
- It has got too many tenses.
- Grammar and listening.
- Its alphabet. (Have you seen your own alphabet Valeria?!? All those backward Rs and triangles and handwritten Ts as Ms?!? And you think the English alphabet is hard?)
- Listen how african americans speak. (umm, okay...I know I've been in Russia too long because this answer didn't even faze me. I was just proud that Dmitri used the term "African American" instead of the standard "n word" that is used here!)
4) What was your favourite thing we did this year in class?
- Oh, to tell you the truth, I liked everything we did in class: games, tests, going outdoors, talks, watching films and so on. I'm really glad that I was entered your group. It was a very cool studying year. Thanks a lot for everything! :)
- Just communicating with each other, finding out more about you. I was really entertained when we were teaching you Russian swear words! (hahaha...a very memorable class for me as well, Polina!)
- Its a game, that we have played, but no too much. (Ah yes...that one...vague statements are the best)
- Lesson of studing American teenagers English
- When we play -> (student drew a stick figure swinging from a gallows...so I assume she means when we played "hangman" with vocabulary words as we did not regularly act out guillotine reenactments)
- Discussing funny topics with you!
- My favourite thing was when you had a New Years Party for us!
- Oh many things, but maybe when you had our lesson outside!
- When we went outside.
- I like in Christmas when we see film and when we speaking all class and you say "no grammar today!"
- I love our lessons and I can't say what is this.
5) And the final question...
- Russians :)
- When I look TV Russian team was better but now it possible Canadians.
- I don't like hockey and so I don't know anything about it! But I think...mmm...Russians :)
- Its a provocation question, but I don't really like hockey, because I prefer soccer and watch only its games.
- Of course, Russians. I'm patriot of my country!
- Russians - forever! But I'm not really interesting in hockey, so It's not important for me who win.
- Tajikistans! :)
- I'm not hooked on hockey, but I think both are very good. (Diplomatic answer...)
- Do we get better mark if we say Canadians?