(Image courtesy : cool-clip-art.blogspot.com)
It's been ages since I've posted here and boy - does it feel good to be back in blogsville !! :-))) Oh Yes - it does !!!! The aim is to post regularly from now on but the time factor (read - lack of time) does have its effects in putting to rest any aims that one may plan towards.
Anyways, not to digress .......
What is the connection between a horse and a president ?
If your answer to that question is "nothing", I'd say it is time to think again.
This happened a couple of months back, during one of my ESL classes. These were a bunch of kindergartners and the topic for the day was "animals". Now everybody has an Achilles heel and so did a little boy in my class. A little boy who is always full of life, happy with life, happy with himself, comes bounding into class and whose answer for just about everything is a huge smile and a loud, resounding "yes". To top this bubbly attitude, he also has round black eyes that speak volumes.
This little guy's Achilles heel turned out to be none other than a horse. He simply could not remember horse. It just proved a little too elusive for him. He could remember and place all the other animals correctly in English but even after three classes, the horse proved consistently elusive. Instead of "horse" the only thing that would come to his mind when he looked at the picture of a horse, was the word "Mah". "Mah" is horse in Cantonese (the local language in HK).
On this particular occasion in class, his jaw was set stubbornly and he meant business. He'd decided that "the horse" was not going to elude him any more. "Enough of peek a boo" was the attitude on that little face that day. Out came the picture of the horse from the flashcards and his eyes widened. Those brows furrowed and he was thinking, fast and furious. I could not help a little smile. I just gathered him close to me and put one arm around him. He was still thinking - I could almost hear those wheels cranking and turning.
"Ah" he said - his face brightening visibly. "This" he said, pointing to the flashcard of the horse on the table "is Obama".
OK- that was the last straw as I could not hide my grin anymore. I was grinning from ear to ear and so was he.
His logic was fairly simple - he recollected the "Mah" which is Cantonese for "Horse". He recollected the "O" sound from the English word "horse". He put them together and came up with "Obama".
And yes, in the midst of laughter, the little genius did get a huge hug :-). Kids - their imagination and the way their synapses connect - never ceases to amaze me.
Now who was it that said teaching ESL is boring ?????