I am a new student in a college, the other company in my class is so quiet! (very rare questions and answers), and I am not very good at English (my professor is English).

I said negative comments about things that I disagree with such as "I don't think that because..", "I think it changed, this is old statistics..". I corrected his speech: "Sir, is it weather or climate?". I laughed and spoke in my language in the class so he thought that we are talking about him,

I actually feel shy when I speak in my language to my friends but it's difficult sometimes to change to English. I really feel like he is saying to himself "rude girl!"

In addition, I ask some ridiculous questions and talked too much, I just noticed how stupid I was. But the worst thing I did is when I suggested (by email) to come the class earlier because we are late, He thought that I am not interested and I want to finish earlier. He spoke to me in front of class but I did not understand what he was talking about ( his voice was low and angry), At home I understood so I sent an email of explanation but I Still feel bad. I am really nervous and confused, what should I do? I feel like I want to leave the class.

  • 2
    If you think relationships are very damaged, you could consider sending him an email, and offering to have a face to face meeting. Show that you have realised you were stupid, and that it will not happen again.
    – Davidmh
    Oct 25, 2014 at 14:52

3 Answers 3


The existing answers are great but I would add a few things. As a note I teach classes were ALL my students are non-native English speakers but I am a native English speaker.

If you find the prof's statistics are out of date, then email him with what you believe the current data is. Making everyone in class think less of the prof is unlikely to motivate the students to put in the work to learn.

Don't pick apart the grammar or vocabulary usage unless it is important to his point. For example, if he says "the weather is heating up over the decades because of pollution" then the fact that he should use "climate" is not really critical. You are not there to teach him English and even native speakers make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes are on purpose. I regularly use incorrect vocabulary because I believe my students would not know the proper word in English. If it matters, I will focus on the word. If it does not matter, then keep everyone focused on the point.

As far as what he is thinking when you are saying in a language other than the language of the classroom AND you are challenging him at every turn, then yes, he is likely thinking you are saying something bad about him.

You need to be polite. Asking questions is fine (actually it is great) but if you are asking every minute you are slowing down the class which makes it harder for the prof to keep his timing. Remember that he has a job to do and you should want him to do his job well. So, find a way to support him and not harm his efforts.

I suspect he is a professional (otherwise you would be talking about what he did to make you suffer) so just change your behavior. If you want to apologize, then do so. However, even if you do not but if you DO change your behavior, I am sure he will appreciate your enthusiasm in the classroom. Just keep it under control. Keep participating, in a reasonable way, and you may yet become his favorite.

  • Did I misunderstand or did you intend to put would not in the antepenultimate sentence of the third paragraph?
    – cardinal
    Oct 25, 2014 at 15:07
  • 4
    @cardinal Thanks for the spot. I've fixed it. By the way "antepenultimate" is definitely one of those words my students would NOT know.
    – earthling
    Oct 26, 2014 at 2:40

Don't make the language as an excuse to your behaviour. Being respectful to your professor has nothing to do with the language proficiency. If you can't learn in English then quit your English-speaking school. Most of us are not English native speakers and yet we study at English schools.

What should I do to fix the problem?

1) Change your behaviour. There is no need to give your opinion about everything the professor says. At the same time, I bet you are very welcome to ask questions related to the material and the professor will be happy to answer them.

2) Tell the professor that you have changed and you regret what you did. I believe you got a very nice professor ( I know some professors who will make your day miserable if you act like this in their class). Take the class seriously or at least do not be the class trouble maker.


It's simple: don't act childish in future lectures. If you are talking/giggling/whatever instead of following the lecture you are a nuisance to the professor but also to other students that try to pay attention.

Disagreeing with the professor is not necessarily bad, though comments like 'this is old statistics' are not constructive. It's better to ask questions that can help you (and your classmates) understand the material better than to remain quiet and learn nothing. Just make sure you are polite when doing so and don't openly challenge your teacher's knowledge.

  • 2
    Totally Agree for focusing on the constructive questions and opinions.
    – seteropere
    Oct 25, 2014 at 8:03
  • Totally disagree. If you've already been noted as a combative jerk by the professor, the best thing you can do is shut up and try and disappear into the background. Next time sign up for 2-3 identical classes and drop the ones with professors you don't like before drop day.
    – ggb667
    Oct 30, 2014 at 2:06

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