February 28, 2008

What'd I tell you about those big words, boy?

As a non-native speaker of Japanese, I oftentimes worry that my vocabulary is too complicated. For instance, I used 肯定 in elementary school yesterday and after I got home I realized that the kids probably had little idea of what I was saying...

I had this problem when teaching in America too, come to think of it. My mentor teacher warned that I was talking above the kid's comprehension level. But on the other hand, she also complained I about me saying "stuff." I was at a pretty poor school. One of the first assignments I gave to the Art I class was to write a one page paper on their favorite artist. One student managed to turn in half a paper (filled with what seemed to be 4th grade English), and the rest flunked that assignment. It made me kind of worried about teaching highschool ever again; maybe if I catch them younger I have a chance to mold them into little Übermensch.
Übermensches? What's the plural on that? It's beyond the ken of my vocabulary.
Your words of the day are 花を咲かせる, to become animated (as in talking), or well known and successful. 彼は単語を教えることで花を咲かせている。美実先生くせに。