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Language Log

Monday, Aug. 28, 2006 - 10:20 a.m.


Well, they gave me the wrong room number. Luckily all that had happened was that they switched the room on the schedule-- first eight weeks/ second eight weeks, classrooms wrong way round. Luckily I remembered the other room, it was in the same building, and when I showed up, there were the students. Oh, but then that room was locked. So I went upstairs and someone called to have someone sent to unlock it, but we took over a room across the hall rather than wait. I think some students came later and wandered off confused, but oh well.

But I think my lesson was too simple for them. Some were very fluent (some less so). I had been imagining a class where they were all less so. The other teacher gave me some handouts, and I couldn't even have them do one of the problem sets because I didn't know the answer. This is what I don't like about prescriptive grammar (one of many things). This problem set had sentences like

My wife objects to me/my playing Dr. Dre CDs early in the morning.

Which is it, 'me' or 'my'? Me oh my, they both sound fine to me. Guess I'll have to ask someone. Stupid thing, can't rely on your own intuitions about structure. Gonna get myself into trouble this way, I'm sure. Doubtless some of them know prescriptive grammar better than I do.

Anyway, I bumbled through it. Glad I had the classroom confusion and first-day I-don't-know-who-you-people-are-or-how-good-your-English-is things as an excuse for the fact that my lesson was lame, lame, lame and not so useful for most of them.

Anyway, they're nice.

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