Friday, September 11, 2009

My English, Eh, She Is Getting Worse

A surprise of working with ESL students all day is that, as their English improves, mine seems to worsen. Perhaps it's because I simplify my own speech for comprehensibility, or because I hear so much not-quite-correct English all day. Maybe it's the distraction of my brain echoing everything I say back to me in Portu-Spanglish. Por exemplo, when I say, "Me, too," I literally hear, "Yo, tambien" in the back of my head. When I ask, "What else?" I hear, "Que mais?" in Portuguese, and then correct it to "Que mas?" for the Spanish-speakers, and, finally, realize that I am at home where the only languages are English and Cat; no Portuguese, no Spanish. My students are not here needing translation. The cats communicate well enough through body language and insistent meows.

Today, after I said something with a very strange turn-of-phrase during our lunch break, I asked the experienced ESL teacher, "Does teaching ESL make your English worse?" She replied, "Yes."

Perhaps I should go read some beautifully constructed prose in English, or watch a well-written Hollywood film, or view a BBC production. This development is somewhat alarming.

For now, my good friends, I hope you to have weekend great and very much fun. Si?


Narya said...

Si! I recommend (as always . . .) Richard Russo. Because I lurve him.

kStyle said...

Thanks for the rec! I'll check him out.

kStyle said...

Oh! Is the the guy who write about relationships between parents and grown children and all their psychological complexity? I unfortunately tend not to like that sort of novel.

Narya said...

Um, I don't think so . . . I suppose that shows up sometimes, but I sure wouldn't describe his work that way.

kStyle said...

OK, then!