For example, yesterday I asked them, "If you had 100,000,000 yen what would you buy?" I ask one of them, "What would he/she buy?" and it's like the end of the world. I feed them the answer, "He would buy..." and still, freak out time. The person I ask has most likely forgotten what the other said, so they have to re-ask their partner, which is where it all goes to shit because to this question "What would you buy..." they look like they have no idea what they would buy, they struggle, make thinking faces, purse their lips and keep saying, "Nandaro, nandaro" (what would it be, what would it be) under their breath. I was thinking, "Honestly, if you have a hundred million yen, you can buy almost anything, so if you say anything, anything at all, you can buy it, so just spit out one English word and I'll be happy."
I think that next class I'm going to start out with a lecture and make the Japanese guy translate. Here is a possibility:
For christ sake people when I ask you a question, particularly an easy question, I don't honestly give a shit whether or not it's the right answer, a particularly thoughtful answer, or anything special. I just want you to say something, anything in fact. When I feed you the answer like I do, it shouldn't take 2 minutes to grind away in your brain, just try something, you can do it you little halfwits. Now I'm not talking to the 5 of you who really do a good job, i'm talking about the 90% of you who just sit and stare. Enough of that, if i ask you a damn question, you should give me a damn answer, even if it's totally wrong. If you don't try I'm a-gonna smack-a you face eh?