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Teenagers learn English out of fear of Chuck Norris!

09 Aug

I’m ashamed that this didn’t occur to me a long, long time ago.  Within the first couple of weeks of teaching teenagers in Argentina, I started to hear mention of Chuck Norris… specifically Chuck Norris Facts.  I never followed up on it but the more I think about it, the more I think that Chuck Norris Facts might be a really good primer for quite a few grammar points as well as improving or reinforcing vocabulary.

Example 1:  A simple warmer where you give out one Chuck Norris Fact to each student.  A simple, fun way to get the class started that could springboard into some interesting, unpredictable discussions.

  • Chuck Norris won American Idol using only sign language
  • Chuck Norris won the World Series of Poker using Pokemon cards
  • Chuck Norris is so awesome he created fire by rubbing two ice cubes together.
  • Fear of spiders is arachnophobia, fear of tight spaces is claustrophobia, fear of Chuck Norris is called Logic
  • Ghosts sit around the campfire and tell Chuck Norris stories.
  • Did you know Chuck Norris had a role in Star Wars……he was the Force.
  • Chuck Norris smashed a mirror over a black cat’s head while standing under a ladder, then won the lottery
  • There used to be a street named after Chuck Norris, but it was changed because nobody crosses Chuck Norris and lives.

Chuck Norris's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (Image from Flickr)

Example 2:  Highlighting a specific grammar point.  A fun way to try this one would be to give the beginnings/ends of the sentences and get the students to suggest the other half.  Or give each student a mixture and get them to try to match them up.

  • Chuck Norris can turn Toast back into Bread.
  • Some magicians can walk on water, Chuck Norris can swim through land.
  • Chuck Norris can drive, fly, and run… at the same time.
  • Chuck Norris can eat rice with one chop stick.
  • Chuck Norris can stare at the sun, and the sun goes blind.
  • Chuck Norris can write a Dictionary by slamming his face into the keyboard.
  • Chuck Norris can send an e-mail with a pencil.
  • Chuck Norris can turn a hamburger back into a cow.

Conditionals

  • If Chuck Norris roundhouse kicks you, even Google won’t be able to find you.
  • If Chuck Norris were to ever run out of ammo, his weapon would continue to fire out of fear of disappointing Chuck Norris.
  • If Chuck Norris was in the military, there would be no war.
  • If Chuck Norris were to ever bungee jump, the earth would flinch.
  • If they made a movie of Chuck Norris standing still, it would be rated R for extreme violence.
  • If Chuck Norris were a battery, my cell phone would never die.
  • If Darth Vadar and Luke Skywalker were to fight, Chuck Norris would win.

Chuck Norris makes onions cry! (Image from Flickr)

Present Perfect

  • Chuck Norris once kicked the Earth, it hasn’t stopped spinning.
  • Chuck Norris died 20 years ago but Death hasn’t built up the courage to tell him yet.
  • Aliens haven’t visited Earth because they’re afraid of Chuck Norris.
  • Chuck Norris has found the end of the rainbow.
  • Chuck Norris has only lost to one man… himself.
  • Do you know how many push ups Chuck Norris has done?  All of them.
  • Chuck Norris has lit a fire at the bottom of the lake… with matches.

Used to

  • February used to have thirty days. Then it met Chuck Norris.
  • The Black Eyed Peas used to be called “The Peas”… until they met Chuck Norris.
  • There used to be a street named after Chuck Norris, but it was changed because nobody crosses Chuck Norris and lives.
  • There used to be life on Mars. Then Chuck Norris came along…

I got these from http://www.chucknorrisfacts.com.  There are similar lists on the internet for Jack Bauer and Vin Diesel (two other action heroes) but these lists contain a lot more swearing and questionable content.  The Chuck Norris list is, for the most part, good clean fun but I would probably not just go onto the website in class.  Also be aware that some of the jokes will be offensive to any students who are highly religious.

Obviously, it doesn’t take much work to change the name to someone more relevant so these jokes can be adapted to whoever is fashionable among your teenagers… just don’t let Chuck Norris know that you replaced his name. 🙂

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2 Comments

Posted by on August 9, 2011 in Activities

 

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2 responses to “Teenagers learn English out of fear of Chuck Norris!

  1. Aaron

    August 25, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    When I was teaching in the US Chuck Norris Facts were all the rage. And they make me laugh everytime. What I didn’t know was that they had gone internationional. How did they even come across them? I was thinking about writing a post using Chuck Norris and then thought that no one would get it except the Americans. I guess perhaps I was wrong. I am just glad Chuck doesn’t know I didn’t write a post about him otherwise . . .

     
    • Gordon Scruton

      August 25, 2011 at 1:18 pm

      Well I had certainly heard of the Chuck Norris Facts in Britain but I suppose that doesn’t count since there is a lot of transfer between the British and American cultures. The Facts certainly they haven’t hit “all the rage” status down here, at least not yet. I’m not exactly sure how my Argentinian students came across them and the vague answers I’ve gotten seem to indicate that the topic simply memed (yep, I’m taking ‘meme’ and verbing it!) down here a little while ago.

      And yes, I had a lot of run ‘researching’ for this post, which basically amounted to poring over the webpages and having several good laughs. 🙂

       

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