“Sweet-sweet”

I guess I wasn’t there the day one of the English teachers I work with introduced clothing vocabulary, because one morning I walked into class and the kids were repeating: “a pink dress,” “a brown hat,” “a green sweet-sweet.” Sweet-sweet? “Sweat suit,” I responded helpfully, only to get blank stares in return. The damage was done. “Sweet-sweet. Okay.” You have to pick your battles as an English teacher — is it easier to get them to pronounce the “f” in “Father Christmas” or the “h” in “horse?” It’s hard enough for them to remember that both student and pupil both mean élève, so, figuring they already had this incorrect pronunciation in their head, I let this one slide. I secretly hope that one day, 20-something French men and women will journey to England or the USA, ask politely for an outfit to jog in, and get sent to the candy store.

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