Bad News

On Friday, a student who hasn’t spoken to me a lot suddenly told me he was having a bad day and then he told me why he was having a bad day. I was having a good time listening to him, not because I was laughing at his bad luck but because it was the first time that he was saying a lot in English without a single question from me.

He’s not the only one who has told me a bad experience or bad news. Actually, I have had many students who have told me about something sad, disappointing, unlucky or frustrating that has happened to them. My friends who are also English conversation teachers have had the same experience too, and it made me think that maybe students find it easier to speak in another language when they’re talking about something bad or sad that has happened to them.

Now that I’m thinking about it, the reason is probably because the negative emotions they’re feeling overpowers or replaces the nervousness they usually feel when they’re talking in English. There could be another reason, of course, and I feel sorry when they experience something bad, but I also feel glad when they’re talking more than usual because that is the reason why they take my lessons in the first place.

My post was supposed to end there, but I feel like I should add this for my students who are reading: I don’t mind hearing bad news and I’m not complaining so don’t think that you can stop telling me things if you want to. But I do hope that in the future you’ll have less bad news and more good news to share.