I’m every ELT (English Language Teaching) publisher’s worse nightmare since I hardly ever stick to the book. I go off topic a lot in class. [Actually I go off topic when talking with people as well…see like right now…apparently I even do it while typing!!! Let’s see if I can get back on topic]
So in class whenever a student says one word, I take that word and build a whole conversation session around it.
Well a couple of days ago, a student mentioned that she loves watching the dolphins. I go
Me: What dolphins? There are dolphins in Kuwait?
The whole class all at once: “Yeeeeeeeeessssssss”
Girl: Teacher, teacher.
Me: Yes, student, student
Girl: You see more more dolphins near to issssssslands in Kuwait.”
A couple of minutes was spent on getting the exact home address of these dolphins; then I go:
Me: So watching the dolphins swim makes you happy, huh?
Her: More, more. It’s my nickname. My friends say me dolphin.
Me: Hmmmm. What else? What else makes you happy?
Now the question was address to the whole class. So what makes you happy. The list came:
- Our family
- Our country
- The government
The next 15 minutes or so was spent trying to rank the factors above. Debates ranged from can’t people who live in a war zone (lack of peace) be happy? Can’t sick people be happy? Do rich countries have happier people than poor countries? Can you make yourself happy by changing the factors that don’t make you happy?
One particular girl was quite all this time. I could see she had something to say but wouldn’t. With her eyes I felt she was telling me, hey I know the secret to happiness and it’s none of the above. She just kept smiling at me.
Me: Come on tell us
Gurl 2: What?
Me: Your secret
Gurl 2: Which secret?
Me: The secret behind that smile
Gurl 2: Let me hear what they have to say first
Gurl 1 aka Dolphin: [Something in Arabic]
Me: Huh? Channel 2 [my way of asking them to speak English, sometimes I say switch to MBC 4]
Dolphin: I say to her to say to us she think what is more more important.
She smiles, I smile, she says:
Gurl 2: The best way to be happy is to [long pause] ……………………have a very bad memory.
The whole class is silent for a while….as if they are wiping some ‘unwanted’ memories from their lives. When they reemerged they all looked happier.
UPDATE: After posting this I googled ‘dolphins in Kuwait’ and saw that our own Intlxpt has a post about it.
Here’s a pic and another one here
And here’s a list of other mammals in Kuwait