Thursday, April 29, 2004

Et tu?

As of last week I've divided my asylum seeker English class into two groups according to ability. It was getting difficult to teach a class where some students could only ask 'how are you?' and a couple were almost at a native speaker level!

In the basic class today we role played some introductory conversations. My favourite was between the most and least advanced students in the class (the two eldest asylum seekers who have been nicknamed Mama and Papa)

Papa: Hello how are you?
Mama: I'm fine, and you?
Papa: I'm very well. Could you tell me which country you are from?
Mama: I'm from Congo, and you?
Papa: Oh really? I'm from Congo too!
Mama: Why you laughing?
Papa: I am surprised that you are also from Congo! And how long have you been in Hong Kong?
Mama: Two weeks (this has been Mama's standard answer for some time now) and you?
Papa: I have been in Hong Kong one month. And where do you live?
Mama: I live in Yau Ma Tei, and you?
Papa: I also live in Yau Ma Tei
Mama: C'est fini!

Stay tuned for details of the advanced class where we conducted a press meeting starring a Cameroonian asylum seeker as the head of the HK UNHCR office!