Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Makes a teacher proud

I've mentioned previously that I work as an ALT at two different high schools - one normal and one a special part-time school. The students at the part-time school range from handicapped, to victims of bad family situations, to lazy, to extremely bright. One reason I sometimes prefer working at the part-time school is that there are a decent amount of students who will try to participate, even if their level isn't that high. All in all, though, students at either school will usually participate if prompted and certain special individuals may raise their hand or chime in from time to time, but Japanese students are not very pro-active.

Which is why I was very pleasantly surprised yesterday. The Japanese teacher and I were doing a lesson on past  tense verbs for a small, well-behaved, but generally reserved class. After we finished one exercise, though, one boy who is pretty bright but usually quiet unless directly asked something, raised his hand and asked not one, not two, but three questions about the problems we had just checked together. There were some grammar points that he didn't understand, like why "got married" has two verbs "got" and "married." It felt like a moment of triumph that he cared enough to ask! I commended him for asking good questions. Those are the moments it feels good to be a teacher.


  1. So, Teach', how'd you explain the 'two verbs' to the students?

  2. Yeah, I'm curious about that too: did you tell him that "got" is a helping verb that makes the sentence passive-voice, or did you tell him that "married" is a participle functioning as a predicate adjective? Either interpretation is linguistically valid, but which one would be easier to explain to a Japanese student, and which one would do more to improve their grasp of English?