Thursday, 25 October 2012

Questions an Australian gets in the French classroom

Some of you might not know this, but I came to France as an English Teaching Assistant. This means that I help students from ages 11-15 in two colleges with their English pronunciation and grammar while at the same time sharing the Australian culture and way of life.

From the minute I started teaching, I've felt like a celebrity. Anytime I'm in class or walking down the corridor, the students stare at me and shout 'hellos', totally mesmerised that I'm this new person who speaks English. And once they find out I come all the way from Australia, a very far distant land, their minds are blown.

Being a few weeks into teaching now, the students have asked me every question under the sun. Some of my personal favourites are:

"Do you have a kangaroo as a pet?"
"Did you bring a kangaroo with you?"
"Are there lots of kangaroos everywhere in Australia? On the street jumping around?"
"Why is your name the name of a supermarket?"
"Do you have a man?"
"Does Santa Claus in Australia wear shorts instead of pants because it's too hot?"

and one other really astute observation:

"It's summer in Australia during Christmas? Where's the Christmas magic?"

It's safe to say that in the minds of French kids, Australians can be described in three simple words: kangaroos, hot and beach.

And when they asked me what comes to mind when I think of France, I replied, "snails, frogs legs and the Eiffel Tower." They all laughed!

What questions have you faced as foreigners in another country? I'd really like to read them in the comments below!

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