Monday, 18 January 2010


I'm not talking about my own (hormones, that is) but those belonging to my class of twelve and thirteen year olds. Today they were hard work. At the moment there is a big gender split, which is making life in the language classroom difficult because certain girls won't work with certain boys to do pairwork. For the whole class there were insults flying from one side of the room to the other, sulking, sighing and generally some bad "filin" (bad feeling/vibe) in the air. Afterwards I left the classroom trying to work out when this group stopped being my favourite, but didn't reach any conclusions.

Later on, and I'm with another pupil who has one-to-one classes with me every week. She is at least 2 generations older than my teen students, and provided the perfect antidote after a rough class with them. She hasn't been learning English for long, but began telling me about what happened to her family during the Civil War, only pausing when she got stuck on verbs in the past tense. I was impressed by her progress, and moved by the story.

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