Making Fun Of Students

Do ESL teachers make fun of their students?

No, of course not! Mainly though because they tend not to make mistakes that are all that funny…I’ll admit it does seem pretty mean to make fun of people learning your language, including those very ones you are responsible for teaching. Better to ask your colleagues what their students did and make fun of them!

Just kidding.

I can’t say I’m totally innocent though.

I’m sure I’ve had a laugh now and again, though it is much more likely to be over some long drawn out story like this one, requiring a whole post, rather than a couple of good one-liners. I think I’ve shared a giggle with a co-worker over the occasional odd personality though. The creepy old guy who uses prepositions of place to make crude jokes to or about the younger women in class, or the pair of moody teenagers who were found making out in the student lounge when they thought they were alone. The military officer who took my “realia” – a plastic bag – and placed it over the head of one of his counterparts. Yes, these were men who carried guns in a foreign country, and I do believe that story circulated a few times after I passed it on.

But – although English classes were the setting, these comedic moments were not related to students’ attempts to use English. And to be honest I don’t think it’s all that common for ESL teachers to laugh at that. So if your students ever ask you this, as happened to one of my colleagues, you can reassure them that while we may laugh at them (or with them, as you like), it’s not because they make funny mistakes in English – it’s just because they are odd people!