Monday, April 20, 2009

Another Dumb Reason To Teach English

We've been getting a lot of Russian language majors here in Vodkaberg, lately.

In my opinion, hoping to learn the local language is one of the dumbest possible reasons to become an English teacher. I mean, really -- you'll be speaking English in class 20 - 30 hours a week, and most of the people you meet will be either foreigners or English-speaking locals.

You might get lucky -- I know one person who has become nearly fluent in Russian in like five years here, by virtue of living with a girl who speaks no English and rarely socializing with foreigners. The rest of us get by with minimal to piss-poor language skills.

It's not like a great percentage of the population speak English, I should say -- just most of the people that we have any interest in speaking to.

With the new modern supermarkets, even shopping is just a matter of gathering up what you need and looking at the total on the register.

There's of course the meeting-girls-in-nightclub motivation; generally nightclubs are too loud to do much speaking anyway. It's mostly just dancing and buying drinks that does the trick, and the international language of "Drunkenly Making Out." And what if you don't like nightclubs anyway?

One of the new guys here is so desperate to practice his Russian that he started taking Polish lessons from a Russian teacher, just so she'd have to explain things to him in Russian.

Me, personally -- I think speaking a language fluently would take all the fun out of living abroad.


JoKeR said...

Yea, I agree it is much more fun to not know the language.

The TEFL Tradesman said...

But in Russia it's good to know at least how to argue with the local policemen as they try to empty your wallet of all its valuables, as a smack in the mouth often offends them - and gets you into a lot of trouble.

To be able to tell them that you're not just another stupid foreigner, and that your employer is Big Mr So-and-so, who'll be onto them pronto, is always an advantage. Hell, if you can just say their police badge number, it helps!