Monday, March 9, 2009

language salad

i sometimes forget how incredible the people i work with really are. most of them are learning their third language in 6 years. and most of them read and write as well as an average kindergartner/first grader in the states. that blows my mind.

today was one of those days that makes me really appreciate and love my job. i was joking with my student from hong kong that she could teach us chinese today, since our chinese teacher was gone. somehow our joke evolved into a 20 minute counting session in 6 different languages. i realized that almost all of my students speak a different language, usually in addition to english and chinese. between the 8 kids and myself, we represent 8 different languages. i find that incredible.

(it's so random, too. we've got the expected asian mix: mandarin, cantonese, japanese and korean, but then there's also polish, german and a touch of spanish. seriously, how many people do you know that speak english, chinese and polish?)

and they are so excited to share and learn from each other. i've started having one star student each week, who gets to bring a special show and tell, etc. one of the things i want them to do now is teach us how to count to five and say hello and goodbye in whatever other language they know. as they weren't awesome enough already.

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