Drilling is one of the areas that may go wrong in an English language classroom. This may happen because maybe the teacher himself is not well-prepared so he/she ends up pronouncing the words incorrectly or because students, for some reason, did not get what the teacher had just said. So let me tell you about four of the funny incidents I witnessed myself regarding this.
The first one happened on a TEFL course in Egypt. During assisted lesson planning, I agreed with the student teacher that she would use back chaining in order to show students features of connected speech when using the past perfect. So simply the teacher was supposed to drill saying something like:
This would have shown students how ‘had’ was pronounced as a weak form. However, the candidate started drilling from the front not the back saying this:
Now when she was drilling (she’d), it sounded exactly as ‘shit’ and all students were repeating after her. She did this for three times, then she realised what she was saying and exploded in laughing.
The second story took place in South Africa on another TEFL course and strangely enough, three student teachers made funny mistakes with drilling in three lessons back to back on the very same day. The first one was not well prepared so he started drilling (Penis Aires) instead of ( Buenos Aires). The second teacher was drilling (decade) but all students were actually saying: (dick head). And the last killer was the teacher drilling (folk music) and all students repeating enthusiastically: (f#%k music).
Well, it seems that teaching pronunciation can easily become offensive at times.