Number one for English language teachers

Anecdote: The beach

Type: Anecdote


Every summer at our local High School in New Zealand, we have 'Beach Sports,' a day spent at the beach swimming, playing volleyball, kayaking and just having fun. To get my students involved I spent a lot of time discussing the vocabulary associated with beaches - sea, sun, surf, etc. Beach Day was a success and my students actually participated with the Kiwi kids.

A few days later, however, one of the Japanese girls came up to me and asked,

'Anna, what is beach?'

I mentally rolled my eyes, wondering how she had missed that key word. I went into a lengthy explanation, reminding her about 'Beach Day' and what we had done there. I was relieved when her face lit up with understanding, but then I saw doubt again, and she asked me,

'Then why do Kiwi students call teacher a beach?'

I then had to explain the difference in pronunciation (and meaning) between 'beach' and 'bitch'.

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