Fail of the day: Playing an NPR story

I am writing this right now because I have little to do because my students are asleep. Well, one has her headphones in, refusing to do anything, but she’s awake.

I played this NPR radio story just ten minutes ago, after I had them do a journal write answering the questions:

“When you speak, do you use “ax” for “ask”? Do you know others who do?

Explain a time you remember saying it or hearing it. What happened?”

I thought this would engage my students and they would have many personal connections! Nope. Not at all. They vaguely knew of the switch. Kudos to me for being presumptuous. I guess I get too excited about linguistics.

Then I played the article ( a 3 MINUTE LONG RADIO STORY) and it was like Ambien. Sadly, I tried to wake them up but defeatedly set the grammar practice we were going to do on their desks. I guess when they wake up, I’m going to have to tell them to get more sleep at night and have fun trying to do the practice on their own as homework. I hate walking the fine line between no nonsense teacher and caring teacher. It’s a nuanced one for sure.



  1. I think the problem here was that the question was close-ended (do you use…?) Rephrasing the question might have gotten a larger response: What judgments do we make about people from the way they talk? (such as when they say ax instead of ask?)

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