No sex please, I’m British.

Travel writer Bill Bryson once wrote that more than 300 million people in the world speak English and the rest, it sometimes seems, try to. Since I’m looking for a job as an English teacher, I pulled out some of my old teaching materials from when I taught in Paris. At the back of my lesson plan book I found a list of stupid things my students said. I use to write down their mishaps as secretly as possible. Here re some of my favourite ESL (English as a second language moments).

ESL: “I woke up with a big dick.”       me: Excuse me?         “I woke up with a headache.”     oh.

Curious ESL take on Country music song “Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy”  –  “Save a camel, Ride a Tunisian”

Me: What is the plural of Man?     ESL: Men     Me: What is the plural of woman?    ESL: Women       Me: What is the plural of Spiderman?     ESL: Spiderman 2.

ESL: My woman is Portugese. Translation:  My wife is Portugese

Me: What is the name given to the British Flag?    ESL: Black Jack

Me: What Jewish girl wrote a diary of her teenage years that went on to become a bestseller?

ESL: Bridget Jones?

Me: Did you have coffee at break?     ESL: yes.       Me: All of you?    ESL: I love you too.

Me: Give me an example of the expression “Used to”

ESL: “I used to brush my teeth.” ESL: Pump UP the volume!!

Me: What did you have for dinner last night?    ESL: I eat grass and soap. (attempt at salad and soup).

ESL: Don’t eat the cat

Me: So we can all get to know each other better, why don’t we go around the room and everyone can say three things about themselves. Two true things and one lie.

ESL (in French): I don’t like lies. It thrusts people into a dark, tormented abyss.

ESL: (to other ESL in haughty manner): Tolouse is a verb, NOT a city.

ESL: My belly is sick.

Me: Give me an example of a sentence using the phrasal verb ‘to chicken out’.   ESL: Don’t chicken out your meat.

ESL: (old white lady to young black man sitting beside her): “J’ai toujours rêvé d’un bébé noir. Je t’adopte.”

ESL: (while pointing at the wall) “Imagine this is a wall.”

ESL: Do you like to have a lot of pleasure?

Me: Do you know any English proverbs?   ESL: “No sex please, Im British.”

ESL: Can you raise me please?  Translation: (Can you give me a raise?)

ESL: I’m empty. Translation: I’m hungry (well, you can be full).

ESL: Can you ask him to call my back? Translation: (Can you ask him to call me back?)

ESL: Can you change me please?   Translation: (Can you make change please?)

Do you like to have a lot of pleasure? (French person trying to translate “avoir du plaisir”)

Me: How old are you?    ESL: Im fine.

Me: Where is Sylvie?    ESL: in my pocket.

Me: How are you?      ESL: Im 50. (says woman of 40)

ESL 1: Can you give me a ride home?     ESL 2: I apologize. It is not possible to drive your bike home.

Me: Est-ce que tu reconnais la femme dans la photo?   ESL: Non, mais son canapé me dit quelque chose…

Me: What do you put in a China Cabinet?     ESL: Chinese people?

Me: Alain, what do you have in your kitchen?    Alain: My wife.


Afterword: My apologies for not having written in a while. I made one last mad dash through Florida before returning to what is a now a sunny and lively Berlin. More on all that soon.


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