Langauge and culture

When I first started teaching overseas, as part of the students community and service requirements I took a group of students to a poor local Thai school to teach English. The students had several activities mapped out to help them learning language.

However, when we arrived at this small local which was supposed to have been giving us one class, which meant my students in pairs and threes would have small mini class sizes of about 12 students or so, we discovered that due to excitement or a miscommunication that instead the whole school had all come out !

How do you look after 300 Thai kids instead of 30 ?

I suggested that they sing songs, and get the Thai students to join in. Great idea, what song ? How about Old MacDonald I, perhaps rather naively replied ?

Little did I know at the time, that Ba (or Baa, บ้า) means crazy.

So hear I am, in front of 300 Thai kids trying to get them to join in with “Old MacDonald Had a farm ….. ” They probably thought I was mad before I started loudly singing

♫ ♪ ♫  Baa Baa here and Baa Baa there, everywhere a Baa Baaa ♪ ♫ ♪

Who would have thought that animal sounds are different in different languages ? For a teacher from a Science background like myself, I certainly had not.


*edit : I just found this worksheet on ESL for Kids website, so I guess I am not the only one! 🙂


About Pak Liam

Living, teaching and traveling in Asia.
This entry was posted in Langauge and Literature and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Langauge and culture

  1. in bahasa indonesia is … embek… embek..

  2. Pak Liam says:

    Do you mean the noise a sheep makes ? As in Baa Baa ?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s