The young learner strategy

Sticks and stones break your bones

Sticks & Stones

Most native English teachers in Korea don’t get upset when a young learner walks up and says, “you look tired”, or “your nose is big”, and even “why are you so fat?”

This is because most of us just accept this type of comment as part of the “appearances driven” culture our students live in. We get the feeling that they are saying these things without malice. So, getting upset with them doesn’t do much good, because they’re not likely going to change anytime soon— if ever.

Couldn’t the same be said for your friends and family who guilt us without knowing any better, when they ask, “why don’t you come visit us?”, or “you can’t stay abroad forever”.

It’s hardly productive to ruin your day trying to explain the reasons “why you do what you do” or “who you are”, is it?

Better, I think to treat your family/friends like your ESL students, tell them you love them, then change the conversation.


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