You have probably noticed that that slogan t shirts are back in style after a 30 year break. Yes it was the 80’s when we sported ‘Choose Life’, ‘Just say NO’ and ‘Frankie says Relax’ t-shirts and yes that was indeed 30 years ago. Hmmm. I had a particularly fetching pale pink cut off t-shirt (also in vogue again) with ‘Ne Touchez Pas’ written across it. Rather inappropriately for a pre-pubescent 11 year old to be wearing a t-shirt like this, especially when 2 hand prints were printed above the words – you can guess where. What was my Mother thinking?! (she doesn’t speak French so maybe she just didn’t get it…?!).
I have been eyeing up on the style blogs a few sweatshirts and t-shirts with cool slogans printed across, my personal favourite being, ‘I have more issues than Vogue’. Luckily here in Israel there are also slogan printed items to purchase, such as this beauty.
In case you can’t read it, it says;
MIX EVERY CNES IMASTER
ANO TRNASHS GOYTAR LIKG
THE MUSEUM THEY DESERNE
Nope it still makes absolutely no sense but FLADN might become my word of the week.You can’t beat a bit of clothing tat off a market at the best of times but I have found that in a non-English speaking country the opportunity for spelling, grammar, general nonsensical and inappropriate English lends a whole new meaning to the word tat. Take for example the velour child’s track suit with ‘ blow me’ written across the bum. Obscene, offensive or just plain hilarious?
The reason for my sudden interest in the written word? I am currently trying my best to teach number 1 son to read English. Although he understands and speaks English, his default language is Hebrew and once he gets to school in September he will be learning to read and write in Hebrew. My plan is to get him to learn the basics before he goes to school so that he isn’t confused learning to write both languages at the same time.
We are working with educational work books and flash cards but to liven things up a bit and to keep him interested we sometimes do our lessons on the hoof. I like to call them field trips but they are often errands that I have to run and I take him along with me and package it as an English lesson. For example in the mall we stand outside the stores with English names and he spells them – ‘Golf’ and ‘Fox’ were easy but we looked like we were casing the joint outside ‘Honigman’ we were there so long.
There are a few difficulties using the everyday world of Israel to teach English as there are soooo many mistakes. Menus for example that are sometimes so ridiculous that you have to read it 5 times before understanding what it actually is. ‘Egg Plant on the Fire’, ‘Respect the Chicken’. I know that Israel is not alone in their translating skills and I am more than certain that if a British restaurant tried to translate their menu to French or Chinese or Hebrew with the aid of only Google Translate the results would be equally amusing.
My personal favourite was discovered a couple of weeks ago when no. 1 son and I went on a field trip (I needed to go to the chemist) and we found a puzzle in the $1 store (the clue is in the price). This was the piece for the letter E. Not terribly helpful although he does remember the letter E by saying ‘it’s not a hippo, it’s an elephant’ so in a round about way it worked.
I am finding the whole teaching lark rewarding and frustrating in equal amounts. I am stunned when he recognises words and letters, knowing that I am the one who taught him, but I do worry that I am teaching him the ‘wrong’ way and just knowing the letters and spelling out the words may not be enough. I am hopeful that the use of song, signs and the odd slogan t-shirt will aid his learning although our field trips will bypass restaurants and market stalls for the time being.