ESL student

Years ago, in college, I was an ESL tutor. I worked primarily with a lovely Korean guy pursuing his stats PhD. Some favorite memories:

  • He once referred to “the day after tomorrow” as “tomorrow’s tomorrow.” Seriously, that should be a thing.
  • He started a good half of his sentences with “actually.” Actually, this works out remarkably well.
  • He asked me to define “groovy.” I was reminded of the importance of both denotation and connotation.
  • He asked me what a “lilic” was. Stumped, I asked for more context. He had learned it in church. Still no luck. A couple days later it hit me: he had confused the r’s and l’s in “lyric.”
  • He asked me where Tiffany’s was located, so that he could get an engagement ring. “Oh,” I responded, “but they’re super expensive.” “I know,” he explained, “That is why my girlfriend likes Tiffany’s.”

 

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