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Bild: Marco Baass


Not too long ago I had decided that it was time for me to learn a language. Fully motivated and raring to go, I was convinced that this was going to be a great experience. However, there was one thing I had overlooked: Me. I am teacher myself, not just any teacher, but a devout advocate of the holy language teaching principles, a disciple who expects to see the same righteous qualities in his fellow acolytes. This was however not the case. My brother in arms was constantly sinning, breaking the commandments, straying from the divine path of effective language teaching; you know an interactive, diplomatic, contextual type classroom environment, which actually turned my grail of learning a language into a completely frustrating experience. 
Since then, I’ve prayed long and hard for guidance on how I can deliver these backsliders and lead them back to the righteous path and I received an answer… I was sent ten commandments to emancipate the fallen ones, ten commandments, as a guideline for our new brethren and it is my duty to share them with you …

1. Thou shalt not continuously confabulate (Stop talking)

Will you ever stop? You’re on the stage with an attentive audience hanging on your every word, who wouldn’t get carried away? Our teacher certainly did, giving us a detailed explication of every single word that the class was unclear about and answered questions by delivering extended, grammarian-type sermons that nobody understood!

2. Thou shalt let me undertake utterance (Let me speak)

When’s it my turn? I kept saying to myself as the teacher proceeded to question each student individually, and of course if the student answered or made an utterance incorrectly, we were once again subjected to the prolonged grammarian sermons. It was a nightmare –by the time it was my turn to speak I had forgotten what the theme was.

3. Thou shalt not demand transcription of thy flock (Why must I keep writing things down from the whiteboard?)

I am a monkon scribe duty? I was continuously in the process of transcribing scrolls of text from the white board. Is that normal? I had serious flashbacks to the English boarding school I attended in my junior years, which was very monastery-like!

4. Thou shalt not impel sermons of speedy speech upon thy flock, that endure eternity (That CD listening was too long!)

The teacher played a listening exercise that lasted about seven minutes. By the second minute my imagination had taken me on a sinful pilgrimage with the Caribbean star Rihanna, Lord Forgive me!

5. Thou shalt not demotivate thy flock from utterance (Why are you correcting me before I can even get a word out?)

I couldn’t get a sentence out without the teacher interrupting to correct me. It was so humiliating, at the end I decided to keep my mouth shut and the other students quickly followed suit. 

Unfortunately, the divine vision I received is fading quickly. Thus, I would much appreciate help in completing this task. If any of you do have contributions to make, please start your sentences with Thou shalt or Thou shalt not …