This is what was inside:
Tag Archive for culture
In last week’s post, I shared how the first 3 Habits of Highly Effective People from Franklin Covey could be applied to language learning. I’ve now finished the book up to habit # 7, and in this blog post, I’ll cover the last 4 habits.
Part 2 should be even more exciting. In part 1, I covered the habits that are “private victories” – things you need to master within yourself first, before you can be successful in your interaction with others.
And language learning is all about interacting with others. So let’s get started with habit 4-7!
Habit 4: Think win/win
Are your kids missing out on the three top life skills?
Do you remember how you learnt the three top life skills?
Those three skills being financial management, cooking and social etiquette (including grooming). If you could give yourself a grade in these areas what would it be?
Think about your financial story – how did you learn this crucial skill?
When I was growing up I was a Brownie (the younger arm of the Girl Guide Movement) and I took the Thrift Badge which aimed to teach financial skills. I remember having to keep a savings account to show how I could save money, and also show how I cared for the things I owned. This was probably financial management at its most simplest and today is woefully inadequate.
To be entirely honest, I did worry a bit when we were approaching customs at Changi Airport with 4 kg of white powder in my suitcase. Fortunately, they let us pass without questions.
Not that I was fearing for my life. Just worried of having to explain what that white powder was.
I could already imagine the customs officer’s words: “Sure, it’s baby milk powder. That’s what they all say.”
What if you were travelling in a foreign country and you found this very attractive person; you approach her and introduce yourself, best foot forward. And then, a blank stare. She didn’t even understand any word you said!
I have often wondered, if it was even remotely possible, for two people speaking completely different languages, to fall in love and be together. See, it’s easy to adjust to say, a Filipina and an American. That’s easy. A Filipina and a Japanese is manageable. But what if it’s a German and a Thai? What if both only know one language? Who would learn what? Would they both learn something new? Something common? What would they teach their kids? Are love and language so closely intertwined that one cannot happen without the other?
The Kpop craze has invaded Singapore! Indeed, Singapore was not spared, as it has fallen in love with the tunes, the moves, and even the fashion that these Asian stars have been infecting the world with. Various well-known Korean artists have already visited the country and there’s still several more coming before the year ends.
When I moved to Thailand nine years ago, from Sydney, it wasn’t the food, the weather or the language that threw me off balance.
I had travelled through Thailand several times before, stopping off on flights between Sydney and the UK, to see my younger brother who had lived in Thailand since 1990.
The 30 degree heat wasn’t too different to a Sydney summer; I used to eat rice most of the time instead of potatoes when living in Sydney, so the food was an easy adjustment; and the language I had a very basic understanding of and was committed to learning, so I knew I would meet that head on.
Though these are the main things that new arrivals may have problems adjusting to, this was all quite natural for me. Perhaps I was half south-east Asian in a previous life?
Instead it was the things that take a while to notice that struck me as strange – some of the character traits of Thais that were foreign to me and which can delight or exasperate us expats!
They say that the easiest and most natural way to learn a language is to fall in love. I am inclined to agree; having witnessed this phenomenon personally. My youngest sister married a man from another world and learned his language along the way. She was just a kid when she met him; 19 years old and breathtaking in her youth. He was a few years older and handsome enough to catch her eye.
They met at a wedding; which is quite possibly the best place for two single people to meet. It’s instant ready-made romance, free for the taking. They played the eye contact game from across the room until he got up the nerve to take that very long walk to her table. He held out his hand and pointed at the dance floor. They danced for hours and only stopped when the wedding planner dragged them off to the cake-cutting ceremony.