An exchange of ideas, translated…
There was an Australian college student, John, who came to visit my daughter’s school as a volunteer, because he was staying here, for seven whole weeks, so the schools asked for seven families’ help. My husband who’d always wanted to put our family up for a homestay program, worked hard, to get him, to live with us for a week.
During the daytime, John would follow my daughter to and from school. On the day that he’d come to stay with us, my daughter had piano lessons after school, and I saw, that it was a hard-to-come-by opportunity, and asked my husband to ask for his permission, to use that hour’s time, to come to the technical high school where I taught, to speak in English to my students.
John who’s really passionate said yes, and, when he’d interacted with the students of my class, he’d impressed me so. I’d originally thought that my students’ bad English would be a problem, but, out of my expectation, some of the students who were fluent enough in English struck up conversations with him first, and, John also used simple and warm words, so the kids are not afraid to speak, and could use the vocabulary terms they’d learned in class, plus the body language, the entire class ran smoothly.
What’s more moving was, that afterwards, my students made a painting for John, told me, “thank you, teacher, for allowing us the opportunities to have an English conversation with a foreigner, although we may not be able to go abroad, but, we’d gotten the opportunity to have an English conversation with a foreigner.” Hearing those words from them, it’d taken away the impressions of not being studious enough that I’d held of them away.
Since John came to my class, the class had improved a lot. Because my kids now have a new goal for themselves, in the future, they all wanted to visit where John came from, Australia, and wanted to follow in his footsteps, to volunteer abroad too.
I’d made a deal with my students, that the next time a foreigner came to my house for homestay, I will totally take the person, to meet my class again. And I’d hoped, that by doing so, it can open up the worldliness in my student, to motivate them to learn to speak English even more.
And so, this, is a story of the added gain from a family’s taking in someone who was from a foreign place, the family gained the opportunity, to interact with someone who was from an entirely different culture, and, the foreigner felt the kindness of the people here, it’s a win-win for both. Plus, the woman’s class also benefitted as well.