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Showing posts from November, 2012

Where did you learn your English?

We had visitors from USA strolling through our passages last week. Like a good host, I indulged them with conversation when they came into my classroom as part of their tour of the school. Many didn’t say much except greet and admire the bright classroom with Linton Kwesi Johnson playing in the background, keeping me company while I was marking. One of the visitors noticed that I’m one of the English teachers and asked, “Where did you learn your English?”. Perplexed, I answered “Pardon?”. My response was deliberate because I was hoping she would re-phrase her question and say something less offensive. However, her response was bewildering: “Where-did-you-learn-your-English?”. The second time it seemed as though time was moving slowly because she enunciated each word carefully, for my benefit of course. Keeping my confusion and anger at bay I simply answered “I went to university, Rhodes, and I’ve been speaking English since I was a child.”
It wasn’t until I was sharing the incident w…