HILARIOUS ESL Classroom Moment No. 6: Using the word ‘dear’

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(Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1YASAAE)

Amongst our students, there appears to be a trend. Particularly in the higher levels. The trend is that they seem to want to call everyone (including the teacher) ‘dear’.

It all stems back to that critical day when formal letter-writing was taught. The thing most ESL students want to get right is the politeness and courtesy of a greeting. This ‘Dear Sir’ idea obviously digs deep and is difficult to erase.

It took some time in my Intermediate class to convince students that the use of the word ‘Dear’ should only be used for little children or old people who are unable to do something for themselves, and even then it is patronizing.

They were very confused. To them to call someone ‘dear’ comes from the deepest form of respect, to hear that it was actually patronizing horrified them.

To understand that a person is ‘dear to you’ is fine, but that other common usage was not acceptable (well for me anyway)

Setting the record straight was something I felt I needed to do. We banned the use of the word ‘dear’ from that point on if only for the fact that it made me feel 103 years old every time they used it on me.

Tell me some more of your own!

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