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...to want to know your experiences of language students?

(57 Posts)
woollyideas Tue 26-Jul-11 19:09:28

Having hijacked the other thread (sorry Eric!) here's one especially for people's observations, questions, rants, etc., about language students.

I'll kick off by asking what is your worst experience and what is your best experience of having language students in your home?

SiamoFottuti Tue 26-Jul-11 19:40:04

You'll find some stories in Chat. This is AIBU. hmm

woollyideas Tue 26-Jul-11 19:41:41

Oh right. That told me then.

EricNorthmansMistressOfPotions Tue 26-Jul-11 21:05:46

hmm back atcha

Worst so far was the bus leaving without my two when I got to the drop off at 6.38am rather than 6.30 and me having to race them 8 miles down the road to catch up with it, almost driving through a speed camera that I'm praying didn't catch me. Best is just how lovely they are!

mummylin2495 Tue 26-Jul-11 21:32:41

i think the funniest students we had were only 12 yrs old.They were right little devils .One of them got in my wicker basket to pretend he was a dog !! they really were a troublesome two ,but they had the faces of angels ,you just had to laugh at them.They were only 12 but acted like 8 or 9 yr olds which made it worse.They refused to have a shower until one night they wanted to play on the Wii.My response was no shower means no Wii.they couldnt get in the bathroom quickly enough.
same two students: One of them had bought his ds with him and had the game where you have a pet dog and you talk to it to make it do things.So all i heard from him him was " sit bello sit" that was bad enogh until the other one rang his mum to say the ds was cheaper here could he buy one.So he bought his and the same game with the dog.Guess what he named his dog ? yes it was the same as the other boys so i then had two of them going "sit bello Sit" One would do it a few seconds after the other.It drove me crazy,especially when i went into their room one night about midnight and they both had their games on under the bedcovers.They didnt realise i could see the lights from them !! But they did give us a lot of laughs but were very hard work.

mummylin2495 Tue 26-Jul-11 21:40:36

pic of them on my profile .They had been to London this day and both bought a policemans helmet !! smile

mumblechum1 Tue 26-Jul-11 21:43:52

Not really a language student but we had a Spanish exchange boy here last November. He told me it would be his birthday halfway through his week's stay so I organised a little party for him and his best friends and their hosts, tapas, lots of other nice deli stuff, birthday cake, even learned how to sing "Happy Birthday to You" in Spanish, bought him an Xbox game etc.

Took him bowling, out for meals etc etc, not once did the little bugger say thank you for anything, not even thanks for having me at the end.

<<hoists bosom grumpily>>

Grockle Tue 26-Jul-11 22:12:32

Signing in smile

I spend a great deal of my time saying, 'In England, we say thank you when someone cooks you dinner/ gives you a gift/ makes you the cookies you requested, passes you something you wanted...'

I have had to ban one student from coming home and sitting at the table in silence, watching me cook dinner. I've told her countless times that she is welcome to sit and talk to me - my spanish student did that and it was lovely, but that we don't just come in a wait at the table for half an hour for your dinner to appear. It's not a restaurant. I'm coming to the end of a 6-moth stint so am feeling a bit worn down!

mummylin2495 Tue 26-Jul-11 22:44:16

All of my students are German from the school i am with now.I think its so well run because they are actually looked after by therr own German leaders from start to finish.they also stick in a whole group together and for the most part they do different things every day,In fact the school is run By the Germans as well,but English teachers and staff are employed there.I have had a few rude ones,and if they do not say please or thankyou i will always pull them up on it .But mostly i have to say they are very polite.The two boys who have just gone would thank me for breakfast even before they got it ,then again afterwards ,then they would thank me for the lunch etc .That was funny.
Years ago ,i used a school which had several different nationalities and they had to write a story about my family.at the time we had hamsters,so in their story they put " they have two cobs " when i asked what "cobs" were he pointed to the hamsters and then i realised ,the food they had was in a box and the makers of it were "cobs." which is where he got it from.
He also made me a cup of tea one day ,and put the t leaves in the kettle !! [ this was a long time before t bags were popular ]

woollyideas Tue 26-Jul-11 22:51:00

Ah yes, the silent ones... I've had those. They sit and watch you cook and then watch you wash up. You try to make conversation and they just say 'yes' or 'no' to everything, or look at you like you're bonkers. In fact I've got one at the moment (Russian). Last night my 14 yo DD asked if she'd like to go bowling. 'No,' came the answer and that was that. Not 'No thanks,' or 'Maybe another day.' Just 'No.'

I do think saying please and thank you to everything is a bit of an English thing, so I try to be understanding, but sometimes...

My most charming student was Japanese... We're still in touch and she signs off her emails 'I love you and very miss you Mrs Woolly' grin

mummylin2495 Tue 26-Jul-11 22:51:45

That student was from Belgium and when my son was 4 we actually went to stay with his family for a weekend when we were on a visit to my brother in germany.His mum could speak no english and i could speak no french but somehow we got on well ,even though i was really sick with travel sickness.She was so good with my son and really looked after him for me when i felt so ill.That was one of the times where we were given Roast rabbit !! i was also given a little statue of manakin piss !! which i still have now .

mummylin2495 Tue 26-Jul-11 22:53:17

My brother has a mature student from saudi.Nort sure where ,and he calls my brother " my father" he is coming back soon with a his wife and a new baby .

mummylin2495 Tue 26-Jul-11 23:00:40

It is sometimes difficult to make a conversation with them and it is hard work too.I always have two at a time and normally there is one who instantly launches into very good English and the other a bit shy,but we find that after a couple of days,the other one will come out of their shell.It must be quite daunting i think ,to go to a strange counrty and live with strange [ in my case anyway] people,and also different food.I had the same worries when we went to the Finnish wedding ,didnt know the parents ,wasnt sure what i was going to eat ect.But it was all fine.didnt like the reindeer though !

purpleturtle Tue 26-Jul-11 23:11:14

We once had a Japanese girl stay with us for a couple of weeks. As I recall, conversation was fairly limited. I remember pulling out all the stops cooking decent meals - including bringing in a friend to make Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding one evening.

At the end of her stay the two things she was determined to take back to Japan were Heinz Tomato Soup and Marmite. The latter to prove to her friends how disgusting it was!

On her last morning she cried and cried into her cornflakes, leaving us a bit worried that there was something terrible at home that the language barrier had not enabled us to understand. I don't think there was, but it was a bit unnerving.

She still sends a Christmas card every year (and we've moved house 5 times since), with a photo of her with her husband and little boy. The enclosed letter tells us how much she misses us.

mummylin2495 Tue 26-Jul-11 23:13:17

Its lovely that she keeps in touch ,it shows that in spite of the language differences she enjoyed staying with you.i do try and keep in touch with all the ones that i really like.

cate16 Tue 26-Jul-11 23:15:16

My friend speaks no french, she called me in a state of panic one evening as her student was in tears and wanting to go home.
Turns out she was asking host if she had any serviettes, to which my friend had given her a selection of paper, cloth, kitchen roll..........actually the girl was asking for sanitary towels! No wonder the poor girl was in tears!!
Secondly she kept asking for 'scotch, scotch, I must have scotch to help me sleep' ........ this turned out to be sellotape (she wanted to stick the curtains together to stop the light coming in!)
My friend has never had a student since.

vegetariandumpling Tue 26-Jul-11 23:16:07

I am (or was until very recently) a language student and I assure you I'm simply delightful honestly

mummylin2495 Tue 26-Jul-11 23:19:25

I have to admti we do have a alugh at some of the words that are spoken wrongly.Not us laughingat them ,but with them.It then gives us a chance to tell them the correct word/ saying,which is good for them to learn.

Muckyhighchair Tue 26-Jul-11 23:25:35

Sorry to hear about your wedding.

Just make sure its not a rush chose, just in case you get back together.

Something like this happened to me, return some money my dad gave me 10,000. Then we got back together very soon after and married.

My dad then paid for the dress. I'm not complaining, but it did mean I didn't have the wedding I want.

Btw I'm very thankful for both gifts, but back together 2 weeks later, I should of wait to clear my head.

mummylin2495 Tue 26-Jul-11 23:29:29

sorry about all my mistakes am chatting on msn to my dd at the same time .

mummylin2495 Tue 26-Jul-11 23:36:11

Muckyhighchair i think you have posted on the wrong thread !!!

Grockle Wed 27-Jul-11 07:40:43

Yes, the 'no' & 'yes' responses to everything drive me mad. I now walk around with a fixed smile. I DO think please/ thank you to everything is very English and perhaps a bit Unnecessary so I keep quiet much if the time..

My lovely Spanish student had a long conversation about liddyhaha and looked amazed when I didn't know who liddyhaha was. Turns out she was talking about Lady Gaga. She then wandered off to pack her sweetcase grin I miss her! She'd use words like obligatory, mandatory, oxygen etc and then tut at herself for not being able to speak english well hmm Some of them have amazing English and I always feel embarrassed about my poor foreign language skills.

Grockle Wed 27-Jul-11 07:42:06

Sorry about your wedding mucky

woollyideas Wed 27-Jul-11 08:28:09

Grockle grin at liddyhaha

I lived in another country for several years and confused a shopkeeper by asking for a packet of brothers-in-law. (The word was very similar to one used for a type of pasta!)

As for the 'yes/no' thing, my DD (14 yo) says 'well if I was abroad, I wouldn't speak either, so you shouldn't expect them to.' hmm

NikkiSix Wed 27-Jul-11 08:59:38

I had a German exchange boy a few months back, he was 15, taller than me, spent longer in the bathroom than I did and was very polite. Thanked me for everything and never put a foot wrong. That was until the English teens decided to show him a proper "English party" and he got drunk and started refusing to come home!

But apart from that, he was lovely. What did make me laugh was when he was talking about his hair. He would refer to his hair as individual hairs so "I need to dry my hairs" and "I do not have Bieber hairs!"

Always ticked me grin

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