Now I have discovered that it isn't just the word "Jew" that my students resist pronouncing. They also have a problem with the word "black."
We are reading a XVIth century Picaresque novel Lazarillo de Tormes. The stepfather of the main character is a black slave from Africa. When I ask my students who the stepfather is, however, they keep saying that he is "African-American." I have pointed out twice that this character could have hardly been "African-American" for the obvious reasons. Yet the problem persists. Now they have taken to saying that he is "Well, you know." Which, of course, annoys me beyond what I can express. We can't go through the course well-you-knowing important realities and groups of people.
The novel is actually great. So I highly recommend it as good, fun reading.