Wednesday in Tlacochahuaya

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TLACO

One student reads out from her sentences: “I have an uncle,” but the sound is decidedly un-clay. I think about how silly M’s nickname from the nieces would be: Un-clay Mon-kay (English phonetic spelling of Uncle Monkey).

Ana, a demanding eleven-year-old, insists I write all of the new vocabulary ph-net-ek-li (Spanish phonetic spelling of phonetically).I suggest: No. The best way to learn the absurdities of language is to trudge on through the mistakes, repeat them until we can no longer tolerate our imperfection. I think, for a brief moment, maybe I’m not teaching English anymore.

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