Friday, 13 May 2011

Nice Ways to Say Bad Things - 12th May 2011

In this lesson I decided to focus on something that we, as native English speakers, often take for granted. When confronted with a painful image or disturbing thought, we often describe it using 'politically correct' terms or 'Euphemisms.' It is only through correct command and understanding of these can a learner, of ESOL, become fluent in the language. I chose this subject for a far more prominent reason. Our clients, wherever they come from and by definition of their status in the UK, find themselves in a vulnerable position when dealing with people they meet on a daily basis. It only takes one misunderstanding and they could find themselves in a much more difficult situation than they find themselves already. It is this potential 'alienation' of our clients that worries me a little, and it is often through no fault of their own. I have therefore decided that my lessons, although directed at a higher level, primarily facilitate the 'Unity in Diversity' ethos of inclusion, and prevent 'alienation' of our clients through their language use.
The lesson on the 12/05/2011 was the first in this series of lessons aimed at creating a more native user awareness of the language that our clients use on a daily basis.
As always, the subject matter generated a lot of discussion and interaction within the group, with comparisons of various cultures attitudes towards 'Euphemisms' playing a key role in the atmosphere of the lesson. Being in the higher group, my own knowledge and command of English was put to the test when I was asked to explain certain points of a sentence or why we use terms that were found in the Powerpoint presentation.
Overall however, another successful lesson, with many words of encouragement that showed how the lessons we commit ourselves to providing and the work that we do as a group, directly benefits the lives of our clients here at 'UiD'.Whether they be individual members or those with families, the comments made about the dedication we all put in to this relatively small group of people, I for one, found particularly humbling and rewarding.

Euphemisms - PPT
Student Handout (Click full screen for better view)

Euphemisms - Student Handout

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