Have you ever figured out language students who fight with their native-speaking language teachers? Have you ever taught one or been one?
At one German company I have to teach a secretary – low intermediate in English – who has been playing a constant game of “Gotcha!” with me to try to prove that my English isn’t correct and that I don’t know what I’m talking about when it comes to grammar, vocabulary, etc.
Today I used the word “clothing”, and she thought she had me! She said that word was wrong, and that the correct word is “closes”. I told her that “closes” means “schliesst” in her language. I said the word she meant was “clothes”, but that the TH and S right together are too hard for us to pronounce, so we pronounce the word like “close”. She insisted I was completely wrong, and that her teacher in Germany had told her the correct word is “closes”. Of course, her teacher may have said that, but it’s not right.
An early intermediate student of a teacher I know in the Czech Republic argued with her because he insisted the English word novel meant “novela” in his language and not “roman”. Of course he was wrong, and just looking in a dictionary would have proven it very quickly, but he kept insisting.
I have heard of many such stories, and I can’t figure out what these students are all about. Does anyone have any idea why these people do this?