1.10.2010

You Can Always Find Another "One"

I started teaching my ESL class again today and it is going to be a great 'semester'.  I got re-nervous about teaching over the break, but today went very smoothly.  I am actually teaching two maybe even three classes this go around.  That means I work 12 hours a week, 4 nights a week so far.  I have found that I am much more selfish with my time when I have a lot of it.  12-16 hours seemed like an overload at first, but I think it will be just fine.

Today we talked about making predictions and, wait for it, Soap Operas.  Apparently understanding 'Days of our Lives' will help to foster a more complete language learning experience.  It was actually a riot because the lesson revolved around Nina, a wealthy Indian woman from a well-connected family and her love for Sanjay, a lowly soccer player without money or prospects.  We were learning about using "will" and "won't" to make predictions about their future - will they run away and get married or will Nina's parents make her move to London and marry someone respectable?

Well, this lead us to a discussion of love vs. respect of parents because Nina's parents would not allow her to marry Sanjay.  Overwhelmingly my student thought that Nina should obey her parents and not marry Sanjay, even if it was "breaking her heart in two"  I kept trying to convince them that love was more important (a little argument makes for good discussion in my class) only to hear responses like "Family is love. "  It's so perfectly Arab.  Arab culture is very focused on the family and honor and evidently familial love is more important than romantic love - at least to my students.

But my favorite response was "You can always find another "one" (as in 'your one true love'), but it is impossible to find another family."

4 comments:

  1. Such an intersting cultural perspective.

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  2. Ha! that's great. One of the books my students read is about a Chinese girl in the early 1900s who, against the will of her family, refuses to have her feet bound. During class discussions, almost all the Asians agree that she should have done what her wanted, because, like your Arabs say, you only have 1 family. It always shocks the Hispanics into silence (for once). Very interesting, I say.

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  3. Sassy Latinos in you class, eh?

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