Saturday, September 15, 2007

Drinking Among ESL Students

The other day I wrote about teaching the expression, "I don't drink," to ESL students. Currently, I'm learning from my students about drinking (and I mean drinking alcohol).

I have a few ESL students who are visiting scholars, post-docs and PhD students. Since school is recently back in session at my local university, one of the topics that has come up a lot lately is drinking and getting a little tipsy, if not downright drunk.

One ESL student told me about a recent birthday party she went to for one of the Korean students in one of her classes. All the party-goers were Asian (Koreans, Chinese and Japanese). She commented to me that they were all communicating in English with one another. And they were a little drunk. She talked about how easy it seemed to speak English and how they all communicated so well!

I'm not encouraging getting drunk to improve your English, but it does reinforce to me how improved English language skills are often a result of self-confidence, and bravery. Drinking allowed my student to feel more at ease and not worry about making mistakes (she usually worries about her English-speaking skills even when with other ESL speakers).

Working with a private ESL tutor allows students to build that self-confidence in a more lasting way. And without a hangover!

No comments: