I’m now in week 2 of the second speaking test I’m giving at my boys high school . . . and thought I’d post about some of the answers the guys have been giving to questions on the test.

At the start of the test I usually have 3-4 questions that serve as a warm-up before getting into the test questions.  I record the tests on my mp3 player in case there are any disputes over test scores, and also include “What’s your name?” just in case there’s a mix up in the testing order and somehow one student’s score card is mistaken for another–I can then go to the recording and sort out any problems that way.

Anyways, in response to the warm-up question “How are you today?” a student said, “I”m supreme.”  Lol . . . nice, and very unexpected.  It’s always great when a student answers using English in their own way while at the same time it is understandable (too much of the time it’s nonsensical).

Another warm-up question is “What do you think of the weather today?”  In this case the reason the answer stood out is because I’ve never heard the Konglish expression “It’s hard” (meaning “It’s difficult/stressful”) used as an answer to a question about the weather, lol.  Usually the error happens when you ask “How are you today?” and the speaker says, “I’m hard,” which then leads to the dilemma every native teacher faces in Korea: to explain to the student the sexual meanings of the misuse of “hard” or to just tell them it’s an incorrect usage of “hard” and that they should say “stressed” or something along those lines.  I usually go for explaining the sexual meaning in an indirect manner but with enough of a hint that they get that there’s a sexual meaning to it . . . the reactions are priceless.

One guy’s response to “What’s your favorite book or movie” had me laughing almost too much and I really had to reign myself in so that I could continue the test.  He told me his favorite movie is “E.T.  You know?” and then raised his finger up towards me with a huge grin on his face and made the glowing light chime sound . . . oh my god it was so funny!

Later, with another student I asked “When’s the best time to see you?” and he looks at me straight-faced but with a small glint in his eye and says, “I don’t want to see you”–snap!  I laughed, and said “Okay, fair enough.”   Cheeky bugger!

I’ll finish with the funniest response I’ve gotten to “What’s your secret to happiness?”  One student said, “My secret to happiness is a positive attitude and AV” and we both burst out laughing.  For those of you who don’t know what “AV” means it’s “adult video” . . . I tried not to laugh but just couldn’t . . .

It’s always so refreshing to have students come into the test with some degree of motivation, personality (versus the zombie-eyed guys), and a sense of humour because after the 50th test things begin to get a weeeeee bit monotonous when asking the same questions over and over and over and over . . .

Well, time to get ready for my next class.

J

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