TAILORED LEARNING

Truth and Justice In The ESL Classroom

Dennis Baade, Sappo School’s resident public relations and social media “expert” visited Norman Albano’s ESL classroom on Friday, Sept 12th. The following is the shocking true account of what happened to him:

The last thing I expected was to find myself on trial. Sappo School had surprised me before, but not like this. I had gone in to the ESL classroom, expecting to be a passive observer of a typical day. Now, I was sweating on the stand. A white liar facing justice in the courtroom and the prosecuting lawyers were closing in, about to trap me in my little white lie.

Where I had expected to find three of Sappo School’s ESL students from China quietly and somewhat dispassionately memorizing words and phrases, I had instead walked into a game of “Two Truths and One Lie.​” Mr. Bill Sappo, the day’s guest instructor, had asked all three students, myself and regular ESL program director, Mr. Norman Albano, to state three things about ourselves to the rest of the class. Two were true. One was false. I went first.

“I love to write. Math is my favorite subject. I had Lyme Disease,​” I said. The students leaned forward, intently. Then, they proceeded to ask me questions, practicing their English, while honing in on my lie. And it didn’t take long for the prosecution to get me to crack. After brushing aside the first three questions, I was asked what my favorite part of geometry, which I had previously stated was my favorite math subject, was. For a moment, I had relaxed, thinking I had them. My brain switched off. I paused for a second, which felt like forever. “Triangles!​,​” I blurted. Everyone laughed. I never really cared for math. I’m also a lousy liar.

A brief video from this class will be posted in the coming days on our Facebook page.

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