“I love the chicken brothers”: Connecting in English class

All is going very well with my new online English class. I’m teaching four delightful young people (ages 16-21) who all live in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Two are in high school and two are in college (studying law and industrial engineering). In other words, they are all very sharp, and are learning  quickly—the kind of group any teacher enjoys. 🙂

At first they were reluctant to speak in class. This is common in elementary classes, where people are nervous about trying out the new language. But one thing that can get people talking is finding some common interests to make a connection. In time, I discovered that I had a couple of cat lovers in the group, which got things going. We even introduced our cats online.

Then, in a conversation about television and movies, I learned something I didn’t expect: Several of us, including me, are big fans of the television series Breaking Bad. That’s why one of my students expressed her fondness for the “chicken brothers”: It’s a reference to Los Pollos Hermanos, a restaurant used as a front by a drug cartel leader in the series. (Notice how my student took care to say it in English, even though they never say it in English in the series. I’ve trained her too well! 🙂 )

So, connections are being made and English conversations are happening. Unfortunately, the class is only a one-month class, so it ends next week. However, the director of the school hopes that these students will want to continue, and if they do, he wants me to keep working with them. I hope to do so, because they’re a fun bunch to work with. Two of them eventually want to study in England. I hope I can help them make that dream come true. Chicken brothers in London!

4 Replies to ““I love the chicken brothers”: Connecting in English class”

  1. Hi Greg,
    I an so happy to hear how much you are enjoying your English teaching. What a blessing you are to your students, finding ways to delight them so that the learning is painless and enticing.

  2. It’s wonderful for you to have such an good, inaugural teaching experience. It would be wonderful for you to be able to continue with them.

  3. Your story exemplifies that we are all connected; we just have to poke around a bit to find a starting point. Once found the relationship can advance forward. Here’s to moving forward with the Chicken Brothers!

  4. I can see how Breaking Bad would teach them about law and industrial engineering. :o) Once “addicted” to your teaching and care they will want to stay on. Love and blessings brother.

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