Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Generic English homework

One thing I discovered early on (around 20) is that these generic rhyming games written as English language lessons might as well all be tossed in the bin if you have any kind of Scottish accent. I bought a book called something like the ELT teacher's companion to the English language, trudged overland to France, took up my job as a language assistant and then tried in vain to read the lists of rhyming words out to the kids: Which one of these words rhymes with 'your'? 'Oar' turned out to be the correct answer, but not when I said it!

Anyway, it was one thing when I was abroad with an English book, but why are Scottish school using such exercises? There I was doing homework with the kids last night when we came upon a lesson which consisted of sorting rhyming words into pairs. The six words on offer were port, sort, cork, fork, torn and born! Well, between the three of us we concluded the only pair was cork and fork! This just isn't helpful. We should be writing our own material that rhymes in our accent if we want the kids to learn from it!

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