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“Yawning is contagious, others will automatically join in”, this might not be the exact quote, but I remember reading about yawning with my ESL (English as a second language) teacher in middle school. She always made me read strange texts to provide me with diverse vocabulary. I recall a few of them.

One day we read the said text on yawning, we had a lot of fun with it an laughed a lot. The text ended with a task, we were meant to say the word “yawn” out loud five times and see what happens, we even said it in German, I don’t think that this made us yawn.

Other texts we read were about snakes taking over a house in Mississippi and about a woman wanting to order turtle soup in Mexico and being laughed at as she had ordered horse sh**…

My ESL teacher was a lovely lady, the one on one lessons we had together made me quickly and with ease master the English language. She tortured me with book reports, each book I read I had to write a report on, well I don’t think I did one for every book (I was too much of a bookworm), at one point I was the ESL student with the most reports up (they were written on big cards which she displayed in her classroom).

I am grateful that she pushed me to write so much, maybe she’s in it for something that I do write now. She definitely taught me that it is important to ask questions, and I realise just now (while writing this) that has been a base for my own teaching methods.


© Solveig Werner 2015. All rights reserved.

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