Teachable Moment– Thanks to my dad for this..
Today we were studying 道案内 (directions) using the phrase, “Where is the _Station_“. I’ve taught this lesson like 20 times and wanted to throw a friday-curve ball for fun….So I asked, “Where is ‘Yea Jin An-sin??”
Home Room Teacher (HRT): “eh? iie jin een-shin? what? what?”
Me: “Yea Jin, Yea Jin– Mutt-su Yea Jin An Sin” (while writing Mutsu Yagen Onsen on the black board)
HRT: “eeh? eeh? Nihongo o shabete! Japanesezu pahleezu”
Me: I am speak’n Japanese! “Mah-T-Suuu” “Y-e-a” “J-i-n” “Ah-Ah-Ah-N” “Ssss-IN” (all while pointing at the words on the black board)
**By then the kids were cracking up at all the silliness of everything**
HRT: (starring at the board then exclaimed) AHH!! WAKATA! “Yah Gen Onsen” Yah Gen?
Me: Umm yeah sure… the hot springs..
HRT: It’s in Ohata…
Admittedly, what started out as a dumb joke by me turned into a hilarious skit that probably better reflected what would really happen in Japan. At first the HRT didn’t get it and became engrossed, to a point of simi-panic, as to what I was saying– which by Japanese standards was plain gibberish..
Later on after the lesson finished I thought I’d get an earful because I didn’t “prep” the teacher for it, but instead the teacher explained to the class that my “joke” shows that sometimes Japanese and English speakers don’t share the same pronunciation for things and that it’s important to listen carefully and be able to read the alphabet…
So yeah “a teachable moment” though I feel like a jerk for having done it.