I've started tutoring ESL students a few nights a week after work, in order to make rent-paying time a little less stressful. I began with my first student this past Friday. His English is excellent, but we are working mostly on pronunciation.
Teaching English was rewarding in Japan, because as my students and I slowly built a communication bridge, we got to know each other, gradually gaining the language to reveal to each other our personal quirks and stories. It was fascinating to see what was divulged over time as they gained the language to tell me what was going on in their heads, things I never would have unravelled from my own cursory glances through Japanese For Busy People.
Teaching English in America is differently rewarding, in a way I had anticipated, and was looking forward to. People can actually use what they learn right away, and use it to make their lives better and easier! It's fantastic!
Friday, I drilled my student on "r"'s and "l"'s, one of his problem areas. Yesterday, his second class, he told me how his practices were going.
"I am a smoker," he told me, holding up for my inspection a pack of Marlboro Lights. He smiled widely, and seemed unusually excited about the pack. "I always go to the store and ask for Marlboro Lights. It is very difficult to say, 'Malroo- Mar- Marlboro Lights' and they always hand me a pack of Reds. I practiced pronunciation all weekend, and today I went to the store, and it was the first time they did not hand me Reds, but Lights!"