As a parent volunteer, I have often tutored kids for whom English is a second language. Such was the case a few years ago when I was working with a young Russian boy who was a student at my children’s elementary school. One day, we were working on adjective/noun constructions. He had written a story about building "a house from snow." I gave him some examples of the preferred English structure.
"If you build a house from brick, you call it a brick house. A house from stone is a stone house. A house from clay is a clay house. Is that clear?”
He nodded, eyes bright with new awareness.
Ahh, the joy of teaching: of shining the light of information into the darkness of ignorance. How much better off would this child be because I, the educated one, had taken time from my all-important schedule to stoop to his level of academic neediness, bringing him this nugget of knowledge? Surely his life was now changed forever because I had shared my gift of teaching with him.
Energized, I pressed on. "Great. So if a house from brick is a brick house and a house from stone is a stone house, what would we call a house from snow?"
He smiled and with great confidence he answered, "Igloo!"
Aileen Mitchell Lawrimore is a mother x 3, wife x 28 (years not men), minister, speaker, writer, retreat leader, and lover of beagles and books. She has a lot to say.
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