“So that’s how you want us to learn new words,” Half-Thai Boy commented, savouring my curated worksheet.
Luckily I was wearing a mask, so I could hide my smug look.
I had kept things simplest, provided two words/phrases for every question and instructed them to circle the right answer. This was to recap the career talk they had undergone yesterday. So the restless students did as I instructed.
I then explained the meaning of the difficult words and got them to copy the definition.
“Perpetually Lovesick Boy, you need to start your engine!” I singled him out from the class. He slowly worked himself up into first gear. “What’s the word under indifferent?” he asked.
This was when I realised how young my students were. I had written ‘bo chup’ (how we might say ‘apathetic’ in Singlish) and assumed that everyone would get it. But ‘bo chup’ was a foreign word to Perpetually Lovesick Boy at least. Singlish is a variety that needs to be explicitly taught to the young!
“Oh, it means ‘cannot care less’. Like how you guys bo chup my teaching,” I patiently elaborated.
I’m actually glad to teach them this Singlish word. Exams are over, anything goes.
Now that I think more about it, an idea sprouted in my mind. Why don’t I introduce them to some crypto slang terms like HODL (Hold On (for) Dear Life) and WAGMI (We All Gonna Make It) and have them teach me some instances of slang popular among their peers? As much as I want to open their minds to the worlds of crypto and decentralised finance, I understand that most 12-year-olds do not have the slightest interest in blockchain technology, coding and use cases, even if they need to attain at least a working understanding of these in order to survive in the workplace. Slang terms could be the key to unlocking their interest because it distills a world they find daunting into bite-sized, easy-to-remember mantras. Looks like I will be referring to articles like this for ideas!
I will be the most LIT (though I doubt my current students use this word) teacher ever!