Sunday, December 02, 2001

Straka Out Four to Six Months with Broken English

Pittsburgh Penguin center Martin Straka was diagnosed by team linguistic Mitchell T. Shanders with an extreme case of broken English. The diagnosis calls for the superstar to be out three to four months as tutors work with the Penguins star on his minimal pairs, vocabulary, and pronunciation.

“I noticed Martin struggling at last Tuesday's press conference,” Shanders reported. “He was using incorrect verb tenses, the first person possessive pronoun in place of the first person singular, and he totally screwed up the irregular verb ‘go/went.’ I knew I had to step in and remedy the problem. He's been in this country for almost ten years now and these mistakes should not be occurring. We need to fix this problem now before it gets worse.”

The Penguin center was referred to the Allegheny Intermediate Unit for intensive English as a Second Language coaching and development. Current tutor Steven Trummell speculates that Straka could possibly be out longer than the time reported by the team linguist.

“His case is pretty severe,” Trummell reported. "I could see him out for as long as six to eight months, and if he has learning disabilities, possibly even a year. Perhaps if he doubles up on lessons and really forces himself to go out and immerse himself in the language, he could make it in three to four months, but when you're working with language and speech, Martin has to understand there is no such thing as a quick fix.”

Straka remains optimistic that he can be back after the all-star break in February.

“My very much want to help team," Straka reported. "My do good learning to get more better at speaking the English an way the Americans do. My want very much to be back and play with players on the team of Penguins. My work very hard with tutors to get better and be back by break for All-Star game. If not then, my definitely went back by time the season of the playoffs comes to being.”

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