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Laughter in the Class April 13, 2007

Posted by Edwin in Mandarin, Motivation, Speaking.

In any typical language class of reasonable size, there is always someone, or perhaps a few people, who turn our to be natural comedians or clowns. Either involuntarily or acting on purpose, they bring laughter to the class.

About a year or two ago, I went to a Mandarin Pinyin class. Due to the limitation of resources, different levels of learners all cramped into one class. In this class, there were 2 beginner students, adult males with comical looks. Whenever the teacher asked them a question, they always replied in Mandarin with such funny accents that the whole class would burst into tears upon hearing them. Sometimes the laughter would last for 30 seconds or more! Initially, I didn’t feel it was funny. But when the whole class was laughing, I giggled without giving it much of a thought.

At one point, I saw a guy in front of me, who turned to the students next to him with a serious-looking face. He told them not to laugh. Then I realized that he was right. There was nothing funny at all.

We all join a language class because we can’t speak the language well. We all want to improve. We don’t want to speak the language in such a way that people would laugh at us. It does not matter even if our fellow learners don’t mind being laughed at. We have no idea how much damage we can potentially do to them.

Keep the right attitude and respect our fellow learners. Let’s stop laughing at them!



1. man of the awa - April 13, 2007

wholeheartedly agree with you. actually, i don’t mind being laughed at so long as it is not malicious, but if it gets to the point that it is insulting and obvious that i’m being ridiculed, as much as it pisses me off, i hate to admit those moments help me improve and make sure i never make that mistake again.

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