Many of the Japanese middle school students I teach daily have minimal English skills. Honestly, most of them have minimal English skills.
Every day they are extremely happy to see me outside of the classroom. Inside the classroom they keep their mouths velcroed shut, working hard to be completely disinterested or at least pretending to be. Walking through the hallways however, they are loud, confident and try to speak.
Sometimes what they say makes sense. Often it doesn’t!
Common things students say:
“Hello. How are you?” (typical student response to this question will always be, “Fine thank you and you?”)
“My name is…”
“I come from Japan.”
“I am happy.”
“You have a high nose.” (In reference to the fact that most Caucasians have bigger noses with a bridge.)
“I am fine thank you and you?” (common and auto-programmed response to the question “How are you?”)
Strange things students can say:
“I am Michael Jackson’s mother!” (said to me by a 14 year old boy the other day)
“I am handsome boy/I am beautiful girl.” (said by students in reference to themselves)
“I am crazy boy.” (said to me at least 50 times by a 14 year old sitting in the front of my class the other day)
“Kevin, you are handsome boy.” (said to me by the boy who is apparently Michael Jackson’s mother)