Tuesday, August 28, 2007

ESL Conversations about Americans

During my conversation lessons with ESL students who have been in the U.S. for a short while, I often ask them about their impressions about the U.S. What were they expecting before coming here? What did they expect to find? What ideas did they have about Americans? (Of course, I usually wait to ask such questions after we've established some rapport. I want them to speak freely and not worry about offending me.) I then ask about their current experiences and observations. What turned out to be true? What's false?

One of the general themes in the answers of all my ESL students is how diverse the U.S. is. They tell me that they thought that Americans were primarily white. When they come here, they see and experience our abundance of hyphenated Americans (Mexican-American, African-American, Italian-American, Japanese-American, etc.)


No comments: