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I teach French kids English. I try to do it in a way that’s fun, but educational. I try to immerse the kids in the culture of England, to transport them there, for however brief a period of time it may be. I show them films that feature lots of intrinsically English things, I play games with them that feature lots of English words, I play songs to them with English lyrics; all in the hope that some words might, just might, slip in and stay there.

I also encourage them to ask questions; where in England am I from? What’s it like over there? What is the weather like? Do we eat similar foods? What are the schools like over there? What do I think of the current situation vis-a-vis the ongoing problems facing the country following Brexit? etc. etc.

I also encourage them to ask questions regarding the language and how to ask questions, directions, what the days of the week are, general conversational matters and so on and so forth.

With that in mind, here are – in no particular order – the top ten questions I get asked:

  1. ‘How do you say ‘Bottom’ in English?’
  2. ‘How do you say ‘Fart’ in English?’
  3. ‘How do you say ‘*INSERT SLANG TERM FOR A PENIS HERE*’ in English?’
  4. ‘How do you say ‘Poo’ in English?’
  5. ‘How do you say ‘Boobs’ in English?’
  6. ‘How do you say ‘Burp’ in English?’
  7. ‘How do you say ‘You smell’ in English?’ (this one made me sniff my own armpits)
  8. ‘How do you say ‘*INSERT SLANG TERM FOR A VAGINA HERE*’ in English?’
  9. ‘How do you say ‘*INSERT ANOTHER PUPIL’S NAME* smells’ in English?’
  10. ‘How do you say ‘I don’t want a bath’ in English?’

Well, that’s the problem when you work with kids between the ages of seven and eleven – you might have lofty ambitions about what you want to achieve, but they’ll bring you back down to earth very, very quickly.