Wry Exchange


¿Entiendes? Do you Understand?
08-08-07, 6:53 pm
Filed under: Culture, Exchange Students, hosting | Tags: , , ,

Typical first week conversation.  
Wry-“Do you understand?” 
FES-“Yes….No….What?”  The head tilts to the side on the word ‘what.’  It happens; watch for it. 

Speak slowly, and face the student when speaking.  You’ll be easier to understand.  Even if it seems your student has great English skills, he will tell you in 3 months that he didn’t understand much of what was said in the beginning.   Even with all of my experience, Sparky still fooled me.  I thought he understood a lot more than he actually did.

Your student will have headaches for the first week or two.  It’s exhausting and stressful trying to translate everything from English to another language and back.  Watch for signs that your new  daughter is just saying ‘yes’ because she thinks that’s what you want to hear.

I think most students learn British English, not American English.  If your student doesn’t understand you, choose different words after you repeat yourself once.   Students will arrive with varying levels of English comprehension.  Our son, Cle, arrived with superior English, and no discernible accent.  Our son, Chef, arrived with great verbal skills, but poor reading comprehension.  He learned much of his English from American movies and tv shows.  A Costa Rican student arrived knowing how to read and write, but couldn’t speak a word of English. 

French English Bilingual Visual Dictionary (DK Visual Dictionaries)You may wish to purchase a visual dictionary, or a laminated fold-out of basic Spanish, Portuguese, etc.   This is a nice French-English visual dictionary from Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/French-English-Bilingual-Dictionary-Dictionaries/dp/0756612977/ref=pd_sim_b_img/105-3314142-7795628   I have shelves of reference books for languages, hosting, and understanding Americans.  I love browsing through Amazon’s selections.  My Amazon wishlist is huge!

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