Back to Burger Land

While I am traveling this week, here are some excerpts from life in an ESL classroom:

Fifth grade student entering class: “Are we going to draw Justin Bieber getting . . .” (She paused to mime someone being grabbed) “by aliens?” (Apparently, word had passed from sixth grade to fifth grade about this activity.)

“No, we’re watching The Three Little Pigs.”

She paused to translate this in her head, then gasped, “A három kismalac!” and skipped off to spread the word that we would be watching a video.

Even my 5th and 6th graders love this story.  They have to fill in the missing words in the dialogue.  It is a challenge for them, and they are determined to get the right answer.

Unfortunately, I now have three different versions memorized and fall asleep chanting to myself, “Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?”

. . .

Fourth grade student describing her alien planet:

“There is Ms. Rebman, a goat, a volcano, and Buzz Aldrin sticking the flag [in the ground].”

She seems to really love goats, so I guess it’s a compliment that I was selected to be on the planet as well.

On another student’s planet, Buzz Aldrin’s grandma was a cannibal.  All I can say is: !?!?!!?!?????

. . .

A conversation Jesse had with a student:

“Sorry for asking, but why are you here?  I mean, why come to Hungary?”

“To teach you.”

“Are you coming back next year?”


“Oh, so you’re going back to Burger Land?”


“Burger Land.  Isn’t that where you’re from?”

“I’m from Ohio.”

“So where is Burger Land?”

“What?  There is no Burger Land.”

This student is about eighteen years old, and he was not being sarcastic.  He truly believed that Jesse came from Burger Land, USA.  I would fear that this indicates something is horribly awry with Hungary’s education system if it produces kids who think Burger Land is an actual place, but Jesse tells me that the other students in the class were looking at him like he was crazy.

How the student got this idea is a mystery.

I suspect it has something to do with the omnipresence of McDonald’s across the globe.

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Filed under Hungary, Language, Teaching

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