Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pet Peeves

One of my nieces is a teacher. The other day we were talking about teaching in Canada and South Korea. Now my experience hasn't been in Public Schools and there are some distinct differences between Canadian and South Korean Schools. But there are some topics that work to get kids (and adults) talking everywhere. Pet peeves is one such topic.

Everyone has a pet peeve. Something that drives them crazy. Whether it is people picking their noise, tapping their toes, or even wearing stupid clothes. (Ok, for some reason I wanted it to rhyme and that is the best I can do.) Some peeves are rational some aren't. Regardless I have found that no matter the level of the student (English level. This topic won't work with Kindergarten kids.) people will try and talk about what annoys them.

It can be used as a discussion topic or a writing topic. Or both. The main difference would be the level of expectation based on their English ability. Low level ... well getting them to express their dislike and make a sentence with help would be about what you could expect. Mid level ... express themselves in a sentence and write a few sentences giving some reason why they dislike it. High level ... it is a good paragraph writing topic, or even short essay depending on their ability.

I have had this topic work with everyone from mid-level Elementary school kids to business men. From low level ability to very high level ability. My niece mentioned she has used it as a writing and discussion exercise too. She teaches English at a Junior High (Middle School).

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