This story is several years old, but it’s a good reminder of what could go wrong in an ESL class.
In 2009 a 6 year veteran of teaching ESL classes in California was terminated for answering questions from his students about the meaning and context behind certain profane words.
Despite a petition he presented from students, who felt he was a superb teacher, the public school still let him go.
“Adult education teachers are not permanent teachers,” said Bennett, the assistant superintendent for human resources. “The district can dismiss them for any reason, or for no reason. There is no due process here.”
When an ESL teacher has a class full of international students from different cultures it’s certainly possible to offend a student or two.
At what point does an ESL teacher say to his students, “let’s not go there” when asked sensitive questions?
How many of us ESL teachers have explained a few swear words to our adult students?
Perhaps it’s time we addressed the topic of “slang and swear words” with our own school administrators… to avoid the same unfortunate fate as this ESL teacher.
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