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Learning the Lingo

Ben is an Australian trained SEN teacher and is a Teacher of the Deaf. He shows us the funny side of miscommunication. Get the tissues ready to dry your eyes - you are bound to get a laugh!

Learning the Lingo

Since moving to the UK I have learnt the hard way that just because it is English doesn’t mean there are no communication barriers. A perfect example of this is while working in a primary school and helping the children get ready for PE I told one child to hurry up and change his pants. I turn around to help another student, and within 5 seconds I turn back to find the child standing there completely starkers! I now know the appropriate word to use is trousers.

However, I seemed to have managed to score a job in the only school in London that does not use English as their first language. I am working in a school that uses British Sign Language. When I made the move to the UK, I was told not to worry, as the similarity between AUSLAN (Australian Sign Language) and BSL would mean communication would be fine! I am now under the belief that these people told me this so that they could have a good laugh once I arrived here and I realised that this is not the fact. Here are some of the absolutely hilarious social mishaps that have occurred so far:

  • Telling a group that we will start of with a warm up activity, suddenly all males in the class are paying close attention, instead of signing warm I had signed prostitute…
  • Being asked if I saw the bus this morning, however the sign for bus in BSL is the Australian sign for shit, I honestly thought four people told me I looked like shit this morning…
  • When asking for the Coca-Cola, I had in reality propositioned my female TA for sex… a prospect neither of us were interested in.
  • Telling a child that stealing is wrong and if you steal things when you are older the police will come and take you away to prison. In my infinite wisdom I had signed lesbian…

There are many many more stories I could share, I must admit it makes communicating a whole lot more fun when you never know what you are going to say next!

I would love to hear of any similar stories! Please feel free to pass them on through the contact link below!

Have a great week! And remember if you break the law lesbians will arrest you!

Do you have a story to share with Ben or us? When you have stopped rolling around on the floor email Megan at

Share you thoughts with us on TwitterFacebook, or Google+

Tags: BenC, LondonSEN, Australian-trained, supply, hearing-impaired, BSL, AUSLAN, challenges, miscommunication

Category: Australian Teachers

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