Spent a good chunk of this beautiful fall afternoon doing speaking tests at a large mobile phone provider here in Vodkaberg.
I had this conversation about fifteen times:
ME: "So why do you want to study English now?"
YOUNG CORPORATE DRONE: "For my work."
ME: "And how often do you use English in your work?"
YCD: "Almost never."
ME: "How often do you speak English in your work?"
ME: "How often do you read in English?"
YCD: "Sometimes I read technical documents, but usually they are in Russian now."
ME: "How often do you write in English?"
ME: "And what are your plans for the future?"
YCD: (Pause) "I don't have any. I want to work in this job."
This so we can form some groups of twelve, of which maybe two or three people will show up every week, because they're so fucking busy at work.
I know, I know, they want to learn English for future work POSSIBILITIES, and the company is paying for it -- a fee which, to a multi-million dollar company, is negligible -- but for FUCK'S SAKE!
And I'm also unconvinced by all these housewives who come into school saying they need to learn English because they travel abroad often. Bull honkus -- every aspect of modern tourism, from the hotels and airports with automated check in, international language ATMs, the guided tours, internet reservations, fast food and supermarkets -- it's all designed so you don't have to speak AT ALL.
They just need English to harass the waiters and yell at beggars. . .