Soundbite;Parting shots

16th January 1998 at 00:00
I was working in a large community school in Birmingham, teaching 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' to a Year 9 class of mainly Asian pupils. We had reached the part where The Fairies sing. It was going well until we arrived at the verse: "Philomel, with melody, sing in our sweet lullaby; Lulla, lulla, lullaby . . ."

The class erupted. I was at a loss to know why. I looked for hidden meanings or innuendo but found none.

Fortunately the bell soon ended the lesson. Determined to find the reason for the laughter I asked one pupil what it was all about.

In between giggles she said: "Well Sir, 'lulla' in Punjabi means a certain part of the male anatomy."

"I see." The veil had been lifted. "Thanks," I said. "That's another word in my Punjabi vocabulary," as they scattered to their next lesson.

Send your soundbite to Sarah Bayliss, The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY. Fax: 0171 782 3200

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