Monday, November 28, 2011

Bad Teacher Does Good

Georgian is a very difficult language. It has thirty-three letters and does not correlate with any other language. It strings all sorts of sounds together and seems to have no inflection. I can go on with the many reasons that I have done so poorly in learning the language. At the beginning I was very studious in my efforts, making flash cards, writing thank you notes in English and translating them into Georgian, listening to vocabulary on my computer.

But when my fellow volunteers began to taunt me about my poor pronunciation I began to shut down.

Now it is in fact true that I boldly bastardized this language. It is also true that Instead of referring to my self as Mastedlebiel (teacher) I called myself a mastalabia. Even after correction I got stuck some how and continued to introduce my self as the English Masta labia.

My poor skills in this realm are not age related. I know this, as learning lines in plays has always been a challenge for me. Once unable to remember all my lines I wrote them out on recipe cards, and had the character root through her tin box, skimming my lines so as to not mess up.

My poor skill has to be neurological, some sort of wiring event.

I resigned myself to this disability and comforted myself by reminding myself that I was brought her to teach English not learn Georgian.

(And I do know enough to understand when the bus driver is trash talking me and how to toast with the locals so what else do I need to know?)

Now for these last three months I stand in front of bright eyed heartbreakers and with total commitment teach them English. I sing, dance and just 100% go at it.

I repeat and repeat over and over as if repeating will improve comprehension.

But really I seem a simpleton with OCD perseverating on single words.

I heard myself at a at a shop saying the word many times in English and many times in Georgian, “Hello, Hello, Gamejobat, Gamajobt.”

At school I do the same, “sit, sit, daggit, daggit”. It seems I have freak echolaic disorder .I repeat my own chants and then translate them into one-word phrases. Eccentric indeed, but accidently many Georgian’s and the student’s learn the language.

See I am like a parrot, repeating so often that incidental learning takes place and thus all learn some language. In the end, all is good.

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