Thursday, February 16, 2012

Ruminating on Language

I am always amazed at how the quality of a friendship improves when someone takes an interest in the other person and how they communicate. A close friend of mine wrestles, and so I made an attempt to learn the sport and its terminology, so I am able to communicate about the things he enjoys. Similarly parents often take the time to learn the vocabulary associated with the various activities that their kids are apart of, so they can engage in conversation and connect.

This is one of the reasons that I think being up to date on technological information is important for teachers. Computers, gadgets, phones, apps, etc are what students are talking about and we should not be left behind. But that is a rather obvious fact. When teachers show that they can communicate with the students it helps the students become engaged. They are encouraged that you make the effort to understand where they are coming from, and are not going to teach based on outdated pedagogy.

Although it may be quite a leap, I think this same mentality can be applied to communicating with international students, not just in the future but also here amongst peers. It is always fun to learn a little bit of another language and try and fail at speaking it correctly. I have made many close friends by trying to learn bits and pieces of their language. Next time you meet an international student ask them how to say some things in their language.

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