Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Great Moments in TEFL History, Part 1

My first exposure, and likely most people's first exposure, to the concept of teaching English as a foreign language was in the 1981 film STRIPES, starring Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, PJ Soles, et al.

Bill Murray plays John Winger, the hero, a lazy and disaffected cab driver who decides to join the Army after his (inordinately hot) girlfriend leaves him. Hilarity ensues, of course.

His best friend, Russel, played by Harold Ramis, is actually a teacher of English to recent immigrants. In an early scene, we see him teaching his students the lyrics to "Da Do Ron Ron Ron".

Shockingly, an entire fifteen minutes of searching on Google failed to turn up any video clips of this, so you'll just have to learn to use your imagination.

I did, however, find this transcript of the film's second scene with Russel's class:

[when Russell is teaching English class]

Russell Ziskey: Okay, I know you're anxious to jump right in and start speaking English, but there's a couple of things I need to know first, because I've never done this before. So, how many of you would say you speak English fairly well, but with some difficulties?


Russell Ziskey: A little English?

[a man raises his hand]

Russell Ziskey: Yes? You speak some English?

Man learning English: Son of bitch. Shit.

Class: [in unison] Son of bitch. Shit

And my life was destined never to be the same.


english student x said...

Son of bitch. Shit.

stevie austin said...

mate, you been in russia too long. youtube is the internet video search engine.

This'll be the clip you're after,

There used to be a wicked funny english tv show in the late 70s early 80s that was about a night school english teacher teaching immigrants. it was piss funny but i was just young and can't remember the name of it. anyone?

stevie austin said...

ahh found it, its called mind your language.

ok, so it was funnier when i was little but still good for a laugh. they'd never be allowed to make a show like this now, just 100% pure stereotyping.

El Gringo Vasco said...

cow juice! lol

Unknown said...

Son of bitch, shit. Good stuff man good stuff. They just don't make em like that no more

Unknown said...
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