Number one for English language teachers

Anecdote: An unfortunate misunderstanding

Type: Anecdote

Sheena Bruet-Patel shares this winning anecdote that reminds us of the questions teachers should never ask their students!

Something hilarious happened a couple of days ago in a colleague's class. It made the whole class roar with laughter and I'm sure all who read it will laugh out loud too...

Dom was teaching a low pre-Int class and had gone through a range of vocabulary for different kinds of clothing and was trying to drill the present continuous. So, he went around the class asking questions like, 'Are you learning English this semester?' or 'Are you reading an interesting book these days?', etc. until he got to a student to whom he asked, 'Are you wearing a white shirt?'. She was, as a matter of fact, but to his amazement she replied, 'No, actually I'm wearing knickers!'. There was a moment's stunned silence in the class and then, when they saw Dom's English face go beetroot red, everybody burst out laughing.

What happened is the student had misunderstood the question and had heard, 'Are you wearing Y-fronts?', a word Dom had just taught them, with a drawing on the whiteboard to illustrate the piece of clothing, to break the ice and get them smiling.

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