This is my brain on foreign language exposure.

In addition to the work my husband does with kids with disabilities who need extra help, he also works with the following areas/teams/committees:

Admissions
Child Safety
Accreditation
Drama

He was working with recruiting, but that became too much. Lately he’s putting in 12 hour days and stomping out lots of little fires here and there.

Part of his daily workload has included one on one tutoring with one student every morning for 2 hours, and the tutoring is of a nature that I can provide, so to help him out, I started doing this last week. The plan is not for me to do this long-term, it’s an interim measure during a particularly busy period of time due to some time-heavy issues that came up with one of his areas of responsibility.

This is the same child I already tutor after school for an hour, two days a week.

English is her second language, unless it’s her third. English is not much spoken at home, or if it is, it’s not fluent. Her English skills have lagged which is causing her to fall further and further behind, and so all of what I do is geared to just filling in the gaps, broadening her vocabulary, improving her reading and comprehension skills, and I have a fairly free hand. I get to read to her, with her, and have her read the books of my choosing and then we talk about them, and occasionally sing an English language folk song. So this is fun for me. She’s a really sweet, good natured, delightful child, so that makes it even more enjoyable. The only part I don’t love is the morning part, which requires getting me and usually the Cherub up, fed, groomed, dressed and out the door at 7.

I think I’ve mentioned that one of the things I get to do here is English conversation for some of the adult Korean missionaries here. It came about because we invited one of the new young teachers here for dinner. She’s the daughter of missionaries who have been doing Bible translation work for years, and they live near the school. The work they do now is recording audio Bibles in various dialects and putting them on portable MP3 devices. English is the common language for the teams who put these projects together. So the new young teacher introduced me to her mother, and we had her over for dinner (the husband/father was out on the field at the time), and went out for coffee, and then they had us over for dinner. When they had a new couple come who needed to boost their English skills and she asked if I could help, and another couple on the team asked if I could work with them, too. At first it was one day each week. Now it’s every day for one of them, and almost every day for the other. The time and location change based on our schedules. They all live in an apartment practically on school grounds and it has a common living room/kitchen area they can use so we meet there when I am at school already to tutor my young student. Those sessions are supposed to be about an hour each, but because we enjoy ourselves and get to visiting, they end up being closer to 2 hours long- for each couple.

I don’t really see or communicate with anybody else while I am at the school because I’m tutoring while they are at lunch or on breaks, and they are in class when I’m grabbing my lunch or taking a quick bathroom break.

The Cherub doesn’t speak at all.
The normally chatty HM is coming home after supper and he’s practically comotose, so he eats, we watch a K-drama together, and then he goes to sleep. We didn’t even have any company last week, except for our Thursday morning Bible study from 5:30 to 6:30. Everybody who comes to that is Visaya, and while most of the study is in English, two of them prefer to read and speak Visaya.
I have a helper 3 days a week, they both speak Visaya, and one of them tries to speak only Visaya to me. While the conversation meetings are mostly in English, I hear a lot of Korean during those meetings. So basically, the last couple of weeks, I’ve heard more ‘not-English’ than English, by nearly a 4 to 1 ratio.

And I’m blaming that, and not old age, for the fact that a couple nights ago during my weekly Visaya lesson while translating a Visaya sentence into English I had a sudden brain freeze and no matter how hard I tried, I could only think of the Korean word for uncle. I could not retrieve the English word from my brain for almost a full minute. My language teacher could not stop giggling for much longer than that.

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2 Comments

  1. Lisa Beth W.
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Love your brain freeze! Bet you never thought that could happen, and I can see why it tickled your language teahcer’s funny bone. 🙂

  2. Laurel Martinelli
    Posted March 10, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    I had about 2 years of elementary (twice a week for 30 minutes each) German. Then 2 years junior high Spanish. Then 2 years high school German. One semester college Spanish and all but three classes of a German minor before being sent to an 18 month immersive Japanese mission. When I returned to the states I resumed my German classes to finish my minor and after being back about two months was asked how to say pants in German. I promptly replied in a Spanish. Still befuddles me as to why Spanish and not Japanese.

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