when they listen

So yeah, I have scribbled reminders to myself on an index card of four things that I want to blog about sometime fairly soon.  Thoughtful sorts of things.

But then something like this happens and I wanted to share it before it gets lost in the shuffle. 

There are days (many of them) when I and other teachers wonder how much attention our students are really paying to what we actually teach them.

And then there are days like today, when I received the following messages from a student.

hello Hannah
today when i took the subway i found a sign and i felt uncertain
i can't make sure whether the expression is right
the chinese in the picture means don't lean on it

Why, you may ask, is this so noteworthy?

First of all, one of the things I've told my students a few times during the course of this year is to pay attention to the English that's around them and think about it.  English is becoming more and more prevalent in China, and my students spend hours and years of their life studying it, but what they learn in the classroom so often doesn't seem to connect at all to their real-world experiences.  

Second, the student who sent this is from the Fight Club class (more on that some other time... stories abound) but she's been pretty challenging to get engaged with class, usually whispering with her deskmate and avoiding eye contact.  

So today, I'm so thankful for the reminder from Celia that sometimes, sometimes, they are listening and learning to make connections.  

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