“I’m sorry, my English no good”
“I’m sorry, I no speak English good”
“I’m sorry, my English is bad”
I hear these a lot!! Too much!! But why? Is it true? Maybe but how are they measuring it?
Personally, I put it down to their learning experience. I’m pretty sure that they’ve not been supported and nurtured to feel good about their level and progress. For me, anything beyond “hello, goodbye” is good and who student who grasps and utilises the present perfect after 5 minutes is VERY good in my book. It’s not how good they are but how good they dedicate themselves and improve.
I remember that in China students would scream in English and were super confident, is that missing in Europe?
I don’t want hordes of French women running round the streets screaming “I speak zeee god English!” but a bit of confidence in their abilities would serve them well.
I often think of my job as a bit like a doctor diagnosing symptoms but the root cause was created years ago in their schooling. How I can solve that one is beyond me. Maybe I should contact the council and ask to volunteer on ‘in-school’ programs.