Monday, 10 May 2010

A Job Well Done

I follow a wonderfully-named blog called "lathophobic aphasia" http://giaklamata.blogspot.com/
by a chap with a lot of EFL under his belt and an excellent take on the joys and sorrows of the English teacher's life. He's been talking recently about "learner English" aka comic learner errors, a subject beloved of all EFLers.

As it happens I've been marking and reviewing writing exams. Here are a few of the delights I've stumbled upon (the topic was whether old people should be cared for by their families or in special homes).


I think tace car for the old People it well be like wine you take care for your sealdrenor your babey.

Thay need more care for food ho thiy eat and take abath and sleap also and if thay sike not soud yo bo you well thake him far the housebetal.

In my opening the beast please to be old people fine is home with family.

Another thing meny some of the people desn’t like niers, you wan’t help you one in you family.

I conclusion I hop every one to do what the beast for old people in my opeining everyone do this with any pearse.

Alson, the children meby bess in oyr live our withe them family so the will not tok care with bernts.

Meade the havi some desses and the should get madecen but the forget takeit then they will be very secia and ne one the new.

And I listen all people put the old man in the sameplaces.

Some people now put your mother and father of you old people on the special hospital and no need old people on your house.

In conctusion…


The interesting thing to note is that it's usually pretty clear what they are trying to say - in fact, if you read it aloud and allow for L1 interference (my students are Gulf Arabic speakers) and pronunciation confusions (p/b for instance), indifference to vowels in spelling, plus inadequate spacing between words, you can understand almost everything here - though I drew a blank on part of the second sentence - soud is presumable should, but yo bo I do' 'no'.

So the students are, in spite of appearences, getting somewhere. The problems are

a) knowing where to start in helping them

b) overcoming the horrors that the "surface errors" inspire in any teacher and most native speakers.


Anyway, reading these scripts made me feel fairly secia, but I try not to get mad(ecen). Definitely not soud yo bo, bro!

In conctusion, (but certainly not in my opening) I’m going home.

It’s the beast place for me.

I’ll check there are no old people on my house, especially not the mother and father of you old people, who must be ancient.

I’m planning to do something tonight that will be like wine.

A LOT like wine.

1 comment:

aussie in alain said...

:) Thet she my up.