Mother Tongue Tuesday

I've worked with many Korean students over the years, but woven throughout my life I've also been blessed with many Korean American friends. These lovely friends have touched my life in ways large and small. One lady came to my house to teach me her language. A professor friend once helped me write an essay when I was… READ MORE >>

I once was quite certain I would be a German teacher. I knew like I knew that German was fabulous, and I had spent plenty of time already studying it (like 2 years). I transferred from the University of Washington to Western Washington University with the more than rather dour Herr Brockhaus because I was so… READ MORE >>

The other day in my 1000 Places to Visit Before you Die calendar, I saw Chuuk Lagoon. It sits in the Pacific, far out and filled with sunken Japanese ships. Because it was the naval base for most of the Japanese Imperial fleet, the U.S. bombed the lagoon in 1944. Now it's a graveyard and… READ MORE >>

After a day in Tian An Men Square with a trip to the mausoleum to see Mao Tse Tung, I stayed in a hotel nearby with many other tourists. I went down to the lobby to write for my first NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) because my mother was sleeping in our hotel room. I… READ MORE >>

Not too long after I started working with the Ukrainian welders, I began a class with Vietnamese studying Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC). This class was much smaller - about 5 instead of 25 -and much quieter. Many of them had come to the U.S. when the war ended in 1975 and wanted me… READ MORE >>

When I first started teaching immigrants instead of international students like the Japanese young people in my last post , I had a classroom full of Ukrainian men mixed in with a few Russians along with one Armenian. Many had been welders or miners in their first countries.  They studied in a welding program and… READ MORE >>

Last month I listened to Reverend Kakihara from the Tacoma Buddhist Temple speak at a Lenten series in my church. The minister, born in Japan, described his faith beautifully and I learned many things about Buddhism, especially about Jodo Shinshu Nishi Hongwanji Buddhism which he practices. At the same time, watching his mannerisms and listening to his speech patterns felt like… READ MORE >>

Mother Tongue Tuesday: Arabic

The young woman stood before me speaking English clearly with an accent that rounded out sounds. Her eyes lit with joy as her tight curls framed her face. She struggled with her writing, she said, and wondered if she could join our ESL classes. When she told me she spoke Arabic, I understood the trouble. Most of… READ MORE >>