What’s so hard about learning English?
Nothing compared to teaching English as a Second Language to really
smart students who love to ask “Why?”
Day 1 lesson plan — Explain why:
quicksand is slow
A guinea pig is not a pig, and it is not from Guinea.
A boxing ring is square
the blackbird hen is brown,
blackboards can be green or blue
Day 2 lesson plans — Explain why:
There’s no butter in buttermilk,
no egg in eggplant,
no grape in grapefruit,
no bread in shortbread,
neither pine nor apple in pineapple,
neither peas nor nuts in peanuts,
and no ham in a hamburger.
Day 3 lesson plans — Explain why:
English muffins were not invented in England,
French fries are not from France,
Danish pastries are not from Denmark
sweetmeat is made from fruit,
while sweetbread, which isn’t sweet, is made from meat.
Day 4 lesson plans — Explain why:
panda bears and koala bears aren’t bears (they’re marsupials);
a woodchuck is a groundhog, which is not a hog;
a horned toad is a lizard;
glowworms are fireflies,
but fireflies are not flies (they’re beetles)
Day 5 lesson plans — Explain why:
the sun shone yesterday while I shined my shoes,
I treaded water and then trod on the beach,
I flew out to see a World Series game in which my favorite player flied out?
If pro and con are opposites, is congress the opposite of progress?
People drive in a parkway and park in a driveway?
Day 6 lesson plans — Explain why:
In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
In what other language can your nose run and your feet smell?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same
while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
If button and unbutton and tie and untie are opposites,
why are loosen and unloosen and ravel and unravel he same?
Day 7 — Rest. . . but first, make a sign that reads, “That is another exception to the rule!”