My English Class is like Casablanca at Rush Hour

Last night when I was being driven home from my church, our car got stuck in the middle of a traffic jam caused by five cars driving the wrong way through an intersection.  Everybody was honking and making wild gestures.  At one point a man got out of his car to yell at the driver in front of him, which only slowed everyone down because no one behind him could move.  Everybody was honking, swerving, and yelling all at the same time.  The stop light nearby changed to red and back to green again, totally irrelevant to what was actually happening on the street.

Everybody's going somewhere.

Everybody’s going somewhere.

This morning I taught my English class for young adults.  Since it was the last class of the week, I thought it would be fun to play a game.  I introduced a guessing game where one person would think of a food and the other students would ask a yes/no question to figure out what the food was.  My students’ desks were arranged in a circle, so I told them to ask the questions one by one in a circle.  It worked fine for the first round, but once all of the students understood the game, they stopped waiting their turns.  I would ask one student for a yes/no question, and three people across the room would be shouting out,

“Is it eggs?!”


“It’s a fruit? A vegetable!”

The game quickly became chaos because before one student could answer the questions, someone else would have already shouted out the answer.  I stopped the game after a few rounds because it was just too much of everyone talking all at once to continue to manage.  I tried to slow them down and get them to go one by one, but even when I achieved calm moments, they didn’t last.  I felt like the stop light that no one was following.  Which makes me wonder; if we changed the way teachers and Moroccan schools manage their classes, would Moroccans be better drivers?


4 thoughts on “My English Class is like Casablanca at Rush Hour

  1. Wow, young adults! Either you run an extremely exciting class or the need to brush up on their etiquette (being less impulsive)! It’s a skill you could reach them little by little, modeling it for them, doing short little “game” type questions as a warm up to practice. I bet there is a link between how impulsive they are and their driving! Good thing is they like to participate!

  2. It is difficult for Moroccans to be better drivers because they have never seen and lived in an environment where there is good driving. For Moroccans, the current way of driving is driving. For you, as someone coming from the US, you assess the Moroccan driving based on what you have seen, learned, and practiced in the US. Moroccans who have lived only in Morocco don’t have that opportunity and consider the current driving as being the normal driving, in fact they don’t even consider it as “normal”, they think it is driving (I hope you can understand that subtle difference).
    I came to this conclusion based on my own experience of driving in Morocco for many years, then relocating to the US for few years. Only when I went to the US that I learned how to correctly drive (by seeing how people drive). I became convinced that this is the right way of driving and I willingly adopted that new driving style and when I came back to Morocco, I brought it with me. I am still driving the same way in Morocco (well, up to 95%), even when other drivers honk at me when I stop at the Stop sign…

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