Wednesday, May 28, 2008

English Trainer Chronicles: Sink

There's a You Tube video that I find really funny. It's an ad for Berlitz. In it, a new guy in the German coastguard receives a mayday from an English ship.
English ship: "Mayday, mayday! We are sinking! We are sinking!"
New guy: "Hello! This is the German coastguard. What are you sinking about?"
I've noticed that many of my students don't know the word "sink," and I've heard this action described/depicted in so many ways. Today's was the best ever.

We have an exercise called Timeline of the Twentieth Century. It divided the significant events of 1900-1999 per decade, and I ask my learners to use the past tense and give me sentences about some of the events, never mind historical accuracy.

I used it with a student today. His English was already good, but, as he said, his words were "trapped inside his head." He tried his best to talk about what happened to the Titanic, and his attempt had us both laughing our hearts out: "The Titanic dove into the ocean. It broke into pieces that couldn't swim."

Same direction, he said. Make sense. :)