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Adventures in Writing, Reading & Book Culture

Students Playing Hookie

I mentioned today to the ONE student who showed up for the proficiency english class that it looked like everyone else (6 others) were playing hookie because of the nice weather. She said No, not hockey, but probably floor ball. Chalk one up for language/culture differences.

“No,” I said. “Playing ‘hookie’ … H-O-O-K-I-E … not hockey.” I explained the difference. She wrote the word down; another score for vocab building.

The best students, of course, actually TRY to improve their language skills. This one … I’ll call her Eva, because that’s her name … comes to class toting two oversized dictionaries. Often Eva is late, but always with an excuse. For example, “I was out running.” Well, you have to appreciate good ‘ole Czech honesty.

It’s a plus that I like to toss language questions around — synonyms & antonyms; slang; idioms; new words from MY vocab vault — and show my enthusiasm for the language. This gets the students enthused, mostly. The others … okay, so they complain that they haven’t advanced from their present level in four years. “Do you do homework?” … “Do you study more than once per week (i.e., in class)?” … “Do you practice in the real world?”

No, No, and No.

I persevere … I give them homework. Take that, you silly pre-int.

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