O Toha

My student with special needs, Toha… today, he and I were making sentences from words on tiny slips of cardboard and his read “He play meatball.” I asked him to translate… “Dia permainan bakso.” He cracked up and quickly fixed his error. It was the first time I had seen him smile– let alone laugh– and the interesting part was that not five minutes earlier I had thought to myself, “If Toha is happy while he’s learning English, I don’t really care if he knows the difference between subject and object pronouns, or if he ever uses English outside of class, or if his verbs and subjects agree. If he’s happy (and learning some critical thinking skills), I’ll be happy.” He play meatballs.

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