Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Intimate, Awkward

My students (all 173!) are in the midst of writing 5-paragraph essays, and I've been drowning in a sea of rough drafts as I attempt to provide helpful feedback. 

The assigned topic was to share three interesting facts about themselves, and while reading through their papers, I've learned many remarkable details about their lives. I've also learned that I will soon need to give a mini-lecture on the word intimate. I'm not sure what Korean word students are inputting into their electronic dictionaries which in turn translates to intimate, but more than a handful have said things like this in their essays:
Do you want to be intimate?

Be intimate with me!

My best friend is intimate with me.
Surely they mean something along the lines of:  Do you want to get acquainted? Let's get to know each other! My best friend and I are close.

While I'm not looking forward to the awkwardness of clearing up this vocabulary confusion, I realize that many of the students hope to study abroad, and the embarrassment that could ensue should they use the word out of context could be potentially devastating.

Duty calls.

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