FinishED with Konglish

Lindsay here. I have to start this blog by telling you how smart my students are. It’s really amazing. When I get onto them for speaking Korean, they immediately switch back over to English.

“Teacher! What is number nine?”
“Lindsay teacher! What is this shape called? “Ahhh, pentagon. Five sides, yes.”

Their English is good. But every now and then, I see the direct effects of Koreans teaching Koreans, the blind leading the blind.

“Teacher!!! Finishee!”

It’s always a race to see who can complete the work the fastest. But today, as I am suffering from a mild cold and a sometimes throbbing headache, I wasn’t in the mood for their Konglish. I had taken it long enough. They are too smart for it.

LISTEN! I said. No stickers until you say it the right way.
How to do you spell “finish”? Does it have an E? Two Es?
NO! It’s F-I-N-I-S-H. And then add an ED!

They practiced it again and again. Apparently, the EE has been ingrained. I looked to the Korean co-teacher in the back. She smiled an embarrassing smile. Yes, she taught them that.

During my last class today with some smart kids, I went over the same lesson. No more finishee.

“Teacher. I am finished,” said Wayne Rooney, a witty sixth grader who admits he doesn’t play soccer as well as his namesake.

And before I could say, “Perfect!” he mimicked me in a high pitch Lindsay voice. “Ohh, Rooney, your pronunciation is so000 perfect,” in an English better than most Americans.