This month I'm teaching a class of adults who want to learn conversational English. Tonight was my second night with them, and a slightly embarrassing moment occurred.
Our reading material was on misunderstandings that arise when speaking English, e.g. "Friday sandwich" instead of "fried-egg sandwich" and "euthanasia" instead of "youth in Asia." As we discussed each scenario, I asked the students if they wanted clarification on any of the vocabulary. The one that stumped them was "X-rated" instead of "X-rayed." I explained "X-rayed" first, taking the easier route and stalling for time. "X-rated" was far more challenging and beyond uncomfortable!! I mentioned that a synonym for "X-rated" was "For Adults Only," but most weren't catching on. Then I talked about how movies have different ratings, and those rated "X" do not allow children because of really bad language and ummmm.... [lots of stammering on my part] people not wearing clothes. I won't further embarrass myself with this story, but there were many long pauses and awkward silences as I struggled to communicate effectively yet professionally, while not looking completely ridiculous.
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