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.
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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。