Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ESL/ESOL: English as a second language

I am an ESOL teacher, and I have students of all ethnicity. This week, I was teaching the four seasons to the younger ones and I took them out to the school grounds to pick leaves for our Autumn tree.
A little girl told me that some one had died and buried in the trees. I realised that she was refering to the memorial plague we have. I took her group and I told them that it was a memorial, and there was nobody buried there. The plague was to remember the ex students and teachers who fought in the World War Two.
She was very relieved. There are some cultures that do not like to be among the dead. I don't know if she had been afraid especially when she saw that a boy was told off by a teacher for stepping on the plague. I just told her it was respect for this plague that we don't step on it.
This incident actually reminds me of my own experience. My secondary school, Methodist school was and still is located behind a Muslim cemetry. As a young kid, I was quite frightened of it. Up till this day, I do not undersand why the muslim tombstones were so closed together. Some one told me that muslins do not have coffins and they bury their dead vertically.


Inday said...

Burying their dead vertically is part of the Muslim culture. But am not really sure how they do it in the Philippines where I came from.

It was an interesting discovery for that child to find the plaque which is a memorial to the war veterans.

You sound very much occupied with your curious students.

Ann, you asked me about if I'd been to NZ. In five months time, we will. We are going to Taupu and will see parts of Auckland as well. Can't wait to see your beautiful country.

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

The plague is in the school, at the entrance. Many young men went to war and never returned. It is the same in Australia. In many schools, they list their names. Surprisingly, they didn't in my schools.

On special occasions, we have a minute of silence for them.