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Poll: Have you ever tried to teach your native language (formally / informally) to someone else?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 20:59
SITE STAFF
Jan 14, 2008

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever tried to teach your native language (formally / informally) to someone else?".

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A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Rocio Barrientos  Identity Verified
Bolivia
Local time: 00:59
Member
English to Spanish
+ ...
My first job! Jan 14, 2008

During my four years at Iowa State, I taught Spanish. My students were kindergarten & grade school kids who attended an extra curricular language program created by the Ames Foreign Language Association.

I absolutely loved my four years as the "spanish teacher". More than teaching, I tried to "convey" language and culture. It was wonderful! I have the most wonderful memories.


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R-i-c-h-a-r-d  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 01:59
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Of course Jan 14, 2008

What a strange question - I could only reply 'of course'. I suppose the answer depends largely on who one comes into contact with on a daily basis. I teach professionally, non-professionally, for fun, out of necessity...and I probably will for the rest of my life.

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elen_d
Local time: 05:59
English to French
+ ...
An interesting linguistic experience Jan 14, 2008

I have been teaching French for 9 months in the US even before starting translation (although I was on the path for translation studies) !

Such a great experience (teaching with college students), so many souvenirs of the country...
Like Richard, I keep on teaching (English, this time). I find it interesting to "master" grammar and linguistic and share them with a learner.


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Claudine Pierre-Antoine  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 00:59
English to French
I try teaching my children Jan 14, 2008

Hello,

I try teaching Polish and French (my two native languages) to my three homeschooled children, ages 10, 8, and 5... and I started having amazing results, only when they found French-speaking neighbourhood friends.

I will include more speaking Polish in the house, and let's see where this leads!

Claudine


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Started out so keen Jan 14, 2008

after doing my Dip TEFLA ... but ended up so disillusioned after several years trying my hardest, but with only around (what I would call) 10% success.
Am much happier now working from home as a translator, where the results of my efforts are clearly visible and often gratefully acknowledged. Plus no more early mornings, traffic jams, cheeky, unmotivated, "no-show" students... picky bosses, etc etc.


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Aline Canino  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:59
Member (2007)
Chinese to French
+ ...
great experience Jan 14, 2008

I have been teaching french as foreign language to japanese students (from 8 to 18 years old) and chinese students (coming from University). It was a great experience even if I find easier to teach a foreign language (I have been teaching japanese and chinese for 7 years, occasionally I still continue). My best memory was when I taugh a little japanese how to read because he only knew japanese writing and it was something completely knew for him. I saw him progress step by step until he became able to read a whole text in french, it was wonderful.

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Veronica Manole
Romania
Local time: 06:59
Portuguese to Romanian
+ ...
Yes, and I would do it any time Jan 14, 2008

I taught Romanian to Portuguese speakers and it was one of the most interesting professional experiences ever. This is definitely one of the things that I would like to do in the future, as I cannot imagine my life without teaching (I currently teach Portuguese). It is incredible how the others see your language, the questions they have. I had to explain a lot of things that I had taken for granted before, as native speaker. Not to mention that there was a lot of cultural information to pass on. I see Romanian in a totally different way since then.

Veronica


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Kathryn Litherland  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:59
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
EX Husband Jan 14, 2008

I tried to help my ex-husband learn English, and it was hugely frustrating! It was worse than trying to teach him how to drive, and that was pretty awful, too. It took him about 10 years in the US to finally get a driver's license, and about as long to finally get a sufficient grasp of the language to be employable in anything other than low-wage jobs. The difficulties we had in this area were symptomatic of the more deep-seated issues that came between us.

I'm glad everyone else's experiences have been more positive! My second husband is a sweetheart, but also not cut out for languages. But attitude is everything: it's cute and funny when he tries to "Jablo Espanyol," because he doesn't take himself so seriously.


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xxxPeter Manda
Local time: 23:59
German to English
+ ...
language is life Jan 14, 2008

My wife is Japanese and we teach each other every day - it's a way for our relationship to grow. It's not language classes and it's not formal. It's a way for us to continuously find out new things about each other.

My son is now one+ years old. I read to him in the several languages at my disposal. It is beautiful to see him grow linguistically flexible (last night he got doses of English, Japanese, German, Spanish, and Persian) and not tied to the rigidities of monolingualism. But, then, he is only one+ years old and I am imposing my own ideation that linguistic flexibility is a route to being a part of a transcendant human condition.


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Cristina Heraud-van Tol  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 23:59
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Yes Jan 14, 2008

I taught formally Spanish to young Korean volunteers who came to work to Peru as part of a programme of KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency) and the Korean Embassy. Also, to two Korean doctors from the same agency. I also taught some Spanish to an American looking to improve his speaking skills.

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Miguel Miranda  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 04:59
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes Jan 15, 2008

Yes, specially, to my fellow citizens; then I realized that it was a task beyond my capacities and left the country in despair.

[Edited at 2008-01-15 06:17]

[Edited at 2008-01-15 06:51]


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Marcelo Silveyra
United States
Local time: 20:59
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
Not really... Jan 15, 2008

I'm assuming that practicing Spanish with my wife doesn't count, right? (And just in case you were wondering, I'm not the one practicing )

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Jocelyne S  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:59
Member
French to English
+ ...
English in Poland Jan 15, 2008

I taught English to Polish children in Eastern Poland (Okuninka) and it was a fantastic experience. Not only was it fun, but it did wonders for my (still quite novice) Polish vocabulary, too.

On the "informal" side of things, I used to have a neighbour who would occasionally come knocking at the door when he had had a few drinks and was confident enough to practise his English. It was funny the first few times, then it became a bit annoying (luckily it didn't happen that often - and we've since moved house!).

I've also worked on a number of international development projects where the de facto language is English. When people ask, I'm always happy to help, but I would never do so unsolicited.

Best,
Jocelyne


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Paul Lambert  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 05:59
Member (2006)
Swedish to English
+ ...
A simple yes-no, I think. Jan 15, 2008

The question is a mere yes-no, isn't it? Either you have or you haven't tried to teach your own language to someone else. What could "other" or "NA" possibly mean?

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