English Trainer Chronicles: A triple treat

Three stories, to make up for my lack of blogging.


The "Monday question," as most of my learners have observed, is "What did you do last weekend?" So...

Me: What did you do last weekend?
Learner: I prepared the soil in the garden for the tomatoes I will plant.
Me: You plant tomatoes? That's great! What kind of tomatoes do you plant?
Learner: I plant two kinds, grape tomatoes and the tomato we call Roma.
Me: What is the Roma tomato like?
Learner: It is coming from Italy...
Me: Wait... let's fix this sentence. When you say "It is coming from Italy," it means it is on its way right now.
Learner: Why, yes, Althea, it's coming on the train to jump in my garden. Don't you have tomatoes like that in your country?

Running on water

Same learner got me too!

We were talking about dolphins in the Philippines. I was telling him about how, when I was in Bohol, we followed dolphins around on a boat. I think I got a little overexcited, as usual.

Learner: Do you have dolphins in your country?
Me: Oh we do! They're really wonderful! Last summer, we went dolphin-watching near one of the islands here, and we had a boat and we ran after them--
Learner: You run on the water? Mamma mia! You're like Jesus!


His English was great. He was really serious. Like military serious. And I didn't know how to break the ice.

Me: So, maybe we can talk about your goals. What is your dream job?
Him: My dream job is to be... what do you call that place where you plant grapes for wine?
Me: Oh, a vineyard.
Him: My dream job is to be a vineyard.
Me: Um, that's not right.
Him: Yes, it is. My dream job is to be a vineyard.
Me: Um, that means grapes will be planted on you.
Him: Why, yes.
Me: Do you want grapes to be planted on you?
Him: Oh, NO! I don't want to BE a vineyard! I want to HAVE a vineyard. I don't want grapes to be planted on me! (Guffaws)