Monday, May 9, 2022

Textbook Ineptitude

Be more practical! No, not THAT practical


  1. As a language teacher, I feel this...

    Me: "And today, we will be talking about a practical topic: going to the doctor!"
    Students: "It's not about the flu again, is it? We already did that in years 1, 3, 4 and 5! >:-("
    Me: *quietly slides entire lesson preparation towards bin*
    Also me, but after class: *frantically sticking post-its in my textbook to indicate which chapters are useless and to be replaced with print-outs on different topics*

    I often wonder about some textbook authors. There's really great textbooks, and there are the ones that feel like they were cobbled together by someone sleep-deprived and working to a deadline.

  2. When I studied French in high school (a long time ago) besides topics like simple everyday conversations ("Hello, how are you?" etc.) all the material (reading and listening comprehension) was about things like history, arts, culture, geography, politics, education, ... Completely useless when I moved to France later and had to explain to our ISP how our internet connection was failing or to the plumber what kind of problems we had with the dishwashers, or to hair-stylist how I want my hair cut.

    1. Oh, I remember that in my French course in high school, we had an entire (but fortunately short) chapter on swearwords and rude expressions. They said it was meant to give us "register awareness" (i.e. these are informal, bad words you should not use in polite conversation), but for some reason, we then also had to be able to use and spell them correctly on a test...

    2. An entire chapter on swear words sounds like my kinda language course!

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    4. Haha, how not to spell and pronounce the name of one infamous president ...

  3. I also remember from my language classes that we were always learning to ask for directions. You go straight ahead, then you turn right, then after two intersections you turn left again... I never ask that in real life, not even in my mother tongue, because I immediately forget how many intersections, when to turn left or right... I just ask multiple times and can do this with rudimentary language skills.