Monday, 13 April 2009

The Little Imperfections and What not to Talk about in Class

Razlan wrote an excellent post on 10 things he'd like people to say at his funeral. He also shared this wonderful film in his post.

I was wondering if it could be used in class... Both the film and the idea behind the post, I mean. What would you like people to say about you at your funeral?

I can see you getting up from your chairs and waving a fist at me (which is great, because at least you'll get some exercise that way, after all the time you've spent in front of your computer). The ideas this woman has. And she was told a long time ago never, and I mean never to mention death in her class. And religion. And...

OK, I probably won't use the "10 things" idea anyway. But the video would be great and, in fact,  it has been used for that purpose. As Sze says in the ad maker's blog:

"Just to let you know, I used this short film with my civics class, after I asked all 28 of them to share what they couldn't stand about their family (they loved talking about that!). After viewing this film, the hyperactive 18-year-olds became really sombre and I peeked to see one of my boys actually tearing a little. We then talked about family and also the notion of perfection in their future life partners. I think they learnt some lessons today."

I think this is a good idea. In fact, I think I'll embed this video in my intermediate wiki and write a couple of questions for them to think about. I might even add the: What would you like people to say at your....

OK, OK, you hate me. I'll stop here. But I would really like to hear what you have to say. I have one simple question for you:

What do you never talk about in your English class?

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Razlan said...

Funeral, death and religion are all part and parcel of life. And if learning about life is not something we should do in class (among other ways), then one should question - are classes are purely for academic pursuit?

Natasa said...

Razlan, I agree. I teach in a language school and my students are mostly adults, so my only responsibility is to teach them English. Still, I am not afraid to tackle difficult topics.


Deeply emotional and moving, not only the video (which I sobbed, thanks I think I'Ll get off my computer now) but also your strength of writing and bravery.

Now, I ask myself, which students will I also use this with.

I'll bring the kleenex though.


Natasa said...

Wow, Karenne, you have made my day. Thanks.
Yes, the video made me cry too.
Students (at least most of my students) prefer being entertained and are not very fond of the kleenex treatment. I once did a lesson based on home violence and one of my students (an 18-year-old) said: "Teacher, I'll never forgive you for making me so sad." But somehow I think she will remember that lesson better than the others.



I am the editor of an ELT newsletter (

I would love to post your content in my newsletter it has subscriber base of 850 teachers in more than 35 countries.

Tarun (tarunjpatel AT

Natasa said...

That's lovely, Tarun. Thank you so much.

飯糰夾蛋Karen said...
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