Funny things your students say

I just felt like this should be a topic. So everyone post funny stories of your English teaching experiences!

The other day I asked one of my students to use the word “joking” in a sentence during a game. He wrote “Are you joking? Zombies can’t talk.” Even though it wasn’t a sentence, I gave his team bonus points for making me laugh. Then, of course, I had to explain zombies to the rest of the class. But I was still amused.

“Please put your clothes back on.”

To me when it was hot: “You can take your clothes off.”
“Are you a good boy?”
“Can I kill you?”

When discussing the concept of same and different with a class of 6 year olds: “Doo-doo and shit are the same!”.

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I have a student in one of my senior classes whose English is quite good, if not perfect, but she is insecure. I told her that she learns from her mistakes and if she continues along the same path, she will one day be fluent. She countered by saying that her father and her teacher say her English is bad (she asks a lot of questions, and her teachers seem determined to shut her down for this…) I said that it’s her father’s job; he’s a Taiwanese dad and might spontaneously combust if he didn’t tell her that she was a terrible student. I then said that as for her teacher, he’s probably insecure about his ability. I told her that her English is probably better than 97% of Taiwanese English teachers.

She looked insulted and taken aback, and responded, “Well, I should HOPE so!”

Do spelling tests count?

#4. (Welcome)
wankme

A colleague tried to tell me to stay posted for updates by saying “Keep on the post”. (sounds uncomfortable)

[quote=“ice raven”]Do spelling tests count?

#4. (Welcome)
wankme[/quote]

This reminds me of when I first started teaching kindergarten. We had one precocious kid who could write a little, but his art skills were not so advanced. He drew me a picture that I’ve since lost of a fat, phallic-looking thing framed by a square. Under it, he had very carefully written, “Penis on table.”

If I ever find it, I’m going to scan and copyright it and have engrish T-shirts made.

Another kid, same class, clapped his hands insanely and said, “Teacher, I crap really loud!”

An adult female student once described a jade ornament she had hanging from a necklace. She said “It’s penis. It represents fertility”.

(Upon closer inspection, it turned out the jade object was shaped like a peanut.)

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From a TOEFL essay: “The second reason I think living in an urban environment is better than living in a rural area is that it is easier to get information from the Internet in an urban area.:astonished:

LOL Tomas, that’s pretty much par for the course. I get stuff like that all the time. At least your example is pretty intelligible! :wink:

Oh, I’ve a good one! I gave two students the task of acting out “complain to your sister”.

They set up a little scene where one was sitting at a table, writing something. Student 2 walks up and asks “can I borrow your cellphone?”
S1 “No.”
S2 <looks questioningly at her ‘sister’, then at the phone. She grabs the phone.>
S1 “Hey! Give it back!”
S2 “I just want to see what you’re doing.”
S1 “Give it back! Right! NOW!”
S2 “Okay, okay, I didn’t want it anyway.”
S1 <glares at sister, then sits down.>
S2 <grabs S1’s book>
S1 “HEY! That’s my homework”
S2 “Wow, you’re such a bad writer. So many mistakes! Ai-yo!”
S1 “Please, pleeease give it back, I need to finish my homework.”
S2 “Ok, here you are. It’s all wrong anyway.”
S1 “Hrrumph!”
S2 “I just want to play a game. Can I look at your messages?”
S1 “NO! Give me my phone!”
S2 “wait a minute, don’t be nasty. Oooh, is this from your boyfriend?”
S1 "Give it back, you b-b-b-bad student!"

I was cracking up at this point, not least because it was all so natural, and so I was totally expecting her to say “bitch.” When “bad student” leapt out, I was just pissing myself.

I asked them “Why didn’t you call her a bitch?” And the whole class looked utterly shocked. “Teacher, no! That’s a bad word!

A few years ago, I was talking to a class about the difference between animals and humans and was trying to elicit the ways humans were special or different. They said that humans could build and use machines. I mentioned that chimpanzees could build tools and they said, “What? No they can’t. What tools?” I mentioned making a stem to “fish” for termites or maybe using a stick to knock down fruit. They were less than impressed. Later, I had them write a “How to” essay. They had to explain how to do something. One kid gave me this.

How to build a banana knocking machine.

Hey, monkey, you want some bananas? They are too high. You need a machine. A banana knocking machine.

First, go find a stick. Second, pick it up. Third, hit the bananas. Congratulations, you built a banana knocking machine.

Now go build a computer, silly monkey. Don’t cry, you will never be human.

[quote=“chainsmoker”]A few years ago, I was talking to a class about the difference between animals and humans and was trying to elicit the ways humans were special or different. They said that humans could build and use machines. I mentioned that chimpanzees could build tools and they said, “What? No they can’t. What tools?” I mentioned making a stem to “fish” for termites or maybe using a stick to knock down fruit. They were less than impressed. Later, I had them write a “How to” essay. They had to explain how to do something. One kid gave me this.

How to build a banana knocking machine.

Hey, monkey, you want some bananas? They are too high. You need a machine. A banana knocking machine.

First, go find a stick. Second, pick it up. Third, hit the bananas. Congratulations, you built a banana knocking machine.

Now go build a computer, silly monkey. Don’t cry, you will never be human.[/quote]

:roflmao: Thats freaking brilliant!!!

Many many years ago I was doing a summer intensive class, in those days you almost always had at least one guy who had just finished military service and whose folks were sending him to get ready for the job market.
I had this one kid, we’ll call him George, he was kind of a genius, but was really Jack the Lad, and in fact was banging the girl in class with the biggest Mogambos.
Anyways, the writing assignment was to choose one city NOT in Taiwan, and write Teacher a letter from there, telling me what you are seeing and doing etc.
George won his spot among the stars that day…

[quote]Dear Teacher,
Greeting from Paris! France!
The weather is beautiful!
I’m drinking coffee at a sidewalk cafe. There are so many beautiful women here! There’s one right over there! She’s wearing a beautiful dress. And she’s not wearing underwear!
Teacher! I can see her goodies!![/quote]

The writer may be correct in their environment. The wording may not have been right on, but they could have meant that internet access is more readily available in urban areas.

I estimate I have read 8000-10000 student compositions, the majority by Chinese L1 speakers. Nothing stands out.

What do you call the place on the car where you put the gas in? Gas tank opening? Just the gas tank? Anyhow my wife called it:

The gas-hole

Makes sense!

My English Dept Chair and I were talking about the differences between school kids in Taiwan and in the urban schools I taught at in Houston. Sold told me there were too many “rascals” in America’s big cities. What she meant was “gang members”, or “gangsters”. It took me a minute to understand what she meant.

Years back, I was tutoring 2 sisters. I can’t recall what we were talking about, but one of them blurted out, “Do us both!” The other sister was nodding in agreement.

This was from today…

Slightly off-topic, for I wasn’t teaching English to this student, but I once had this cute, 19th y-o Taiwanese girl ask me “Please, can you touch me?” O_o Took a couple of seconds for my horny brain to understand she meant “teach me” (the fact that she was pointing at a set of equations on a whiteboard helped).