Published on 12, July, 2020
Does anyone else struggle sometimes to do ‘appropriate’ greetings? You know, as the social skills textbook instructs, especially when hugely distracted by something else? Usually I can manage it, but this morning I may have managed to diversify!
I happened to need to pop to the Scout shop this morning to buy some badges for my Beavers. After I got out of my car I realised that there was what looked like a dead hedgehog by the side of the car park. So I had to stop for a few minutes to investigate whether a) it was actually a hedgehog, and b) it was actually dead. So after establishing those facts, I walked into the shop and rather than doing the textbook greeting, I just said “there’s a dead hedgehog in the car park!” Luckily they were fine with it, they even asked what group scarf it was wearing BUT this really isn’t the appropriate way for me to greet people who I haven’t seen for a few months!!
I find the question ones the worst, too. Even now, if I'm flummoxed, which I often am when I just enter a different environment, I'll go for one of my classic literal descriptions; "How are you mate?"…
“there’s a dead hedgehog in the car park!”
Sounds like a crude euphemism for some painful condition of the rear end.
What a brilliant response!
So much to think of in there, as it illustrates perfectly the almost total mismatch with what typical people *think* might cause stress, and what actually *does*; how what many…
I think I prefer "There's a dead hedgehog in the car park". But that's probably because I'm plum tuckered out by teaching appropriate social greetings . It can be absolutely soul-destroying; and probably for the students too. It sounds like the shop staff kind of enjoyed hearing something different.
Might, also, the tone in which these things are said have a greater impact that the actual words.
I can do socially appropriate greetings when I have to but in this instance I was too distracted by the dead hedgehog to bother! It made my mask slip! In what capacity do you teach social greetings?
Tone may have an impact but I’m quite monotone most of the time unless I’m forcing myself to vary my tone of voice, I wasn’t then. Because they were just glad of something a little different after a very busy morning!
TESOL, but I'm retired. I might start again, but if I do it will probably be only with people where I can skip the basics and skip straight to the interesting content; in other words, I want to be a lifelong learner and have another different career. That is something I have done before, with positive results.
Maybe second year learners might be slightly more of a challenge for you? I guess having to repeatedly teach students the beginners words would get a bit tedious!
I like doing stuff like proofreading theses for people who need to write in English, but its their second language. A lot of it can be done in solitary, but you can also do online discussions of the content, and also have F2F meetings. The bonus for the client is that it prepares them for the presentation of their work, because i tend to view their stuff as something I can learn something from for myself, and so the conversation can get quite animated. But the way i look at it is that if English is your second language, it is better to get your work down in fairly down-to-earth language.It makes presenting your work so much easier.
This seems like a good strategy for teaching your students!
I prefer to think of it as assisting people who use English as a second or other language to use the language productively in their career/slives. I'd like to go beyond the traditional teacher/student relationship, because I have found it to be very isolating
Have your students found this method more agreeable? I imagine it is better for them too as opposed to a ‘clinical’ teacher-student relationship?