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    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 7
    #1

    Conflict with teacher

    Hi there,

    My Mum posted a while ago about my disagreement with my English teacher but I thought I'd join the forum and explain a bit better.

    I am at Lycee in France in Terminale. I take English as my second language. It's complicated - I'm English by birth but have been totally educated in France. French is my first language in general but I still speak English at home so I feel my understanding of the language is very good.

    In my English lesson last week we had to describe a cartoon. The language in the cartoon was just signs so I wrote:

    "Although we do not understand what the balloons say, we guess the locals all use the same greeting"

    My teacher marked me down for this phrase (I lost half a point!) because she is of the opinion that I should have written "what the balloons read"

    I disagreed with her and it has now become an issue that I would like to resolve one way or another.
    Can anyone help?
    Serena


    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 1,153
    #2

    Re: Conflict with teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Serenafaye View Post
    Hi there,

    My Mum posted a while ago about my disagreement with my English teacher but I thought I'd join the forum and explain a bit better.

    I am at Lycee in France in Terminale. I take English as my second language. It's complicated - I'm English by birth but have been totally educated in France. French is my first language in general but I still speak English at home so I feel my understanding of the language is very good.

    In my English lesson last week we had to describe a cartoon. The language in the cartoon was just signs so I wrote:

    "Although we do not understand what the balloons say, we guess the locals all use the same greeting"

    My teacher marked me down for this phrase (I lost half a point!) because she is of the opinion that I should have written "what the balloons read"

    I disagreed with her and it has now become an issue that I would like to resolve one way or another.
    Can anyone help?
    Serena
    It is a close call. Because it is a cartoon and the bubbles are a method for the writer of the cartoon to talk to his/her readers, I would say that you were correct in using the word "say". But you probably could use "read" as well.

    My advice is to let it go. Don't make an issue over a 1/2 point deduction on a test. Look at it this way. You can make this a life and death issue with your teacher. You may even win if you press it hard enough. But what have you gained??? Just 1/2 a point but now you have an angry teacher who has lost face and who may mark your work even harder on another test or examination. It is not worth it.


    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 7
    #3

    Re: Conflict with teacher

    Thanks for that. Oh, don't worry, I'm not going to have an argument over it but I just need to be reassured that my English is correct. Having looked into the subject I know that the use of either is acceptable depending on the context but I thought I'd ask on here just to make certain.

    When I say it's an issue, I don't mean it's one that I will carry on with the teacher. Just so long as I know I'm right

    Serena


    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 1,153
    #4

    Re: Conflict with teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Serenafaye View Post
    Thanks for that. Oh, don't worry, I'm not going to have an argument over it but I just need to be reassured that my English is correct. Having looked into the subject I know that the use of either is acceptable depending on the context but I thought I'd ask on here just to make certain.

    When I say it's an issue, I don't mean it's one that I will carry on with the teacher. Just so long as I know I'm right

    Serena
    Well just let me reassure you that based on the message you have just sent me, I think you are doing well in your studies. Your message is written in an interesting way with a complex sentence structure...full marks!!!


    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 7
    #5

    Re: Conflict with teacher

    Thank you! My Mum has always insisted I keep up my English even though I live in France (and probably always will).
    Serena

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    • Join Date: Sep 2007
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    #6

    Re: Conflict with teacher

    Quote Originally Posted by Serenafaye View Post
    ... she is of the opinion that I should have written "what the balloons read"
    Serena, out of pure curiosity, did your teacher happen to explain why read is the more preferred in that given context? (If not, that should be your first step here. Find out why. Learning is about empowerment. Empower yourself.)

    Your intuition is right on, by the way. Modern day speakers do indeed use read and say synonymously, but from a traditional grammar point of view, read and say house different semantics: read refers to words; say refers to meaning; however that may be, speakers today are merging the two and using them synonymously. What you're asking about is an example of language in change. There isn't a definitive answer here--which is what your teacher should have explained.


    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 7
    #7

    Re: Conflict with teacher

    My teacher explained that the word read would be used in all such situations because that is the word she was taught to use.

    She even gave me a copy of a page from her French/English dictionary to highlight this fact. It had two examples in it:

    the inscription on the monument reads................

    the sign on the door reads No Entry

    I can see that, given what has been explained here, these are correct because they are words and can, therefore, be read. The bubbles in the cartoon I had to describe had only symbols and we had to write down what was in them. In other words, what they said.

    It's nice to know that I was correct in challenging this. Reassuring really that I do understand the language even though I don't use it on a daily basis.

    This is a great help. I'm so glad I found this forum. Thanks.

    Now I have to go and finish my homework for the weekend.

    Serena

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