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smchilds
31-05-2011, 07:23
So, I am an English teacher. My husband is not a native English speaker. In fact his level might be pre-intermediate. I try to teach him but it doesn't amount to much. So I am looking for advice. Should I buckle down and force him to study with me? Or should I send him to language courses? The community college in my town offers a 3-week intensive course (9am-5pm) for about $1200. He is here with me now (in my town, in the USA) and learning English is imperative. But I feel a little reluctant to send him to classes when in theory i can teach him myself... hm.. :confused:

Greg
31-05-2011, 08:21
So, I am an English teacher. My husband is not a native English speaker. In fact his level might be pre-intermediate. I try to teach him but it doesn't amount to much. So I am looking for advice. Should I buckle down and force him to study with me? Or should I send him to language courses? The community college in my town offers a 3-week intensive course (9am-5pm) for about $1200. He is here with me now (in my town, in the USA) and learning English is imperative. But I feel a little reluctant to send him to classes when in theory i can teach him myself... hm.. :confused:

Have you ever noticed with other couples how each tends to resist influences from their own partner that they will willingly except from a total stranger? Let him learn at his own pace from outside the box, and allow him to come to you as he’s more comfortable for advice “when” he’s ready. Encourage him to attend a class outside of your relationship. (my "opinion") :)

nyinrussia
31-05-2011, 09:56
I am also a teacher, but between my husband and I it has always been better to get outside courses! Less arguments etc.

xSnoofovich
31-05-2011, 10:31
Wait a minute. If you are able to communicate with him in a language other than English, why should it matter if he speaks English or not?

Pre-Intermediate is perfectly fine (and a step up from the farm/migrant workers) to able to live a normal lifestyle in the US.

Why does he need English again?

AndreyS
31-05-2011, 17:29
Wait a minute. If you are able to communicate with him in a language other than English, why should it matter if he speaks English or not?

Pre-Intermediate is perfectly fine (and a step up from the farm/migrant workers) to able to live a normal lifestyle in the US.

Why does he need English again?
To get a decent job in the US, I guess.

mrzuzzo
31-05-2011, 17:31
Why does he need English again?

Did I understand you correctly? Why does someone in the US need to know English? :10475:

xSnoofovich
31-05-2011, 17:42
Did I understand you correctly? Why does someone in the US need to know English? :10475:

Yea, that is right. Why?

Unless the person is going to vote, read books, or really want to take a vocal role in society, why do they need more than an intermediate level in English?

AstarD
31-05-2011, 17:44
To communicate, fill out forms, read the newspaper, attend his children's parent-teacher conferences, help his children with home work, get a job other than street sweeping. There are lots of reasons.

xSnoofovich
31-05-2011, 17:45
To get a decent job in the US, I guess.

But, her husband might be able to do that on his own!

and besides,

OP just stated that her husband, a non-native English speaker, only speaks English at a pre-intermediate level.

And what should she do about it. Teach him at home vs. send him to school.


Anything else is pure conjecture on the part of the reader.

xSnoofovich
31-05-2011, 17:49
To communicate, fill out forms, read the newspaper, attend his children's parent-teacher conferences, help his children with home work, get a job other than street sweeping. There are lots of reasons.

All of which can be accomplished with an intermediate level.

Remember, most newspapers are written to people with an 8th grade education.

Communicate with whom? To get in some deep philosophical conversation about nothing, like geo-political politics? Remember, most people in smallsville USA don't really know, or care ! And that goes for a whole lot of big-city folk as well, etc etc.

xSnoofovich
31-05-2011, 17:50
To get a decent job in the US, I guess.

Define decent please.

mrzuzzo
31-05-2011, 17:55
Guys, xSnoofovich is right. There is absolutely no point in learning English beyond pre-intermediate even if you're planning to live in an English speaking country like USA.

As a matter of fact, since there is no point learning English beyond grade 5, it should be cancelled in schools as well, because who needs more than pre-intermediate anyways?

I can trust xSnoofovich on this one. Case resolved. Mods, please close thread.

AstarD
31-05-2011, 17:57
One could say the same thing about Russian. Why bother learning Russian at all? One can easily live here without it.

DavidB
31-05-2011, 18:07
Define decent please.

I guess that would be any job where you have contact with other people?

xSnoofovich
31-05-2011, 18:11
Guys, xSnoofovich is right. There is absolutely no point in learning English beyond pre-intermediate even if you're planning to live in an English speaking country like USA.

As a matter of fact, since there is no point learning English beyond grade 5, it should be cancelled in schools as well, because who needs more than pre-intermediate anyways?


No, there is point. The point is that the more one learns, the more one is able to become involved with that society. If one chooses. However, idea that one needs to speak the language 100% fluently is not correct, since there are many other factors that could hold that person back from becoming fully integrated into society.

Such as, does the person actually * WANT * to speak English, and does the person actually * WANT * to integrate oneself into society? There are many sub-groups that swim below the surface.

Besides, with basic dropout rates being where they are, with the rate of fully functioning illiterate high school graduates growing, and complete swaths of immigrants that can't speak a lick of English, then I would say that an intermediate level is good for starters, and can be improved over time.

In addition, if said husband wishes to become an American citizen, then he will have to attend a citizenship cl**** and pass a citizenship test, so if it is good enough for the US gov, then I say it is good enough for me.

smchilds
31-05-2011, 18:12
What does he need to know English?! Well, yeah, to function in society. Of course it's possible to pick the language up little by little. We are also expecting a baby who will be English-speaking. And what if the kid wants help with homework etc etc and his father doesn't know English well enough? I think that would be embarrassing. My husband wants to learn English. Actually he is motivated and does "homework" which I give him. But then again it's not enough, because if we are just chatting it's kind of a drag to drill him on vocab and etc. He also has a medical degree and if there's a chance of working here, the better his English the better off he will be.
I would also like to be able to go to movies and the theater with him, without feeling like I am torturing him and listening to him snore the whole time :P
I learned a lot going to Russian courses, even while living in Russia. Actually, even though I lived there I took lessons almost the whole time I was there, to feel structured improvement. So I think there could be some benefit.

AndreyS
31-05-2011, 18:16
What does he need to know English?! Well, yeah, to function in society. Of course it's possible to pick the language up little by little. We are also expecting a baby who will be English-speaking. And what if the kid wants help with homework etc etc and his father doesn't know English well enough? I think that would be embarrassing. My husband wants to learn English. Actually he is motivated and does "homework" which I give him. But then again it's not enough, because if we are just chatting it's kind of a drag to drill him on vocab and etc. He also has a medical degree and if there's a chance of working here, the better his English the better off he will be.
I would also like to be able to go to movies and the theater with him, without feeling like I am torturing him and listening to him snore the whole time :P
I learned a lot going to Russian courses, even while living in Russia. Actually, even though I lived there I took lessons almost the whole time I was there, to feel structured improvement. So I think there could be some benefit.
Exactly. He should take systematic courses of English. Several courses over a long enough period of time - just what you did learning Russian.

xSnoofovich
31-05-2011, 18:16
One could say the same thing about Russian. Why bother learning Russian at all? One can easily live here without it.

And many do exactly that. Right, wrong? I would argue that a person would need a basic functioning level, but beyond that, not much else should be required.

In fact, the Russian government has these tests in place, and they are called the TORFL. I would guess that in the future, one will be required to pass these tests to receive a visa or a work permit.

smchilds
31-05-2011, 18:17
No, there is point. The point is that the more one learns, the more one is able to become involved with that society. If one chooses. However, idea that one needs to speak the language 100% fluently is not correct, since there are many other factors that could hold that person back from becoming fully integrated into society.

Such as, does the person actually * WANT * to speak English, and does the person actually * WANT * to integrate oneself into society? There are many sub-groups that swim below the surface.

Besides, with basic dropout rates being where they are, with the rate of fully functioning illiterate high school graduates growing, and complete swaths of immigrants that can't speak a lick of English, then I would say that an intermediate level is good for starters, and can be improved over time.

In addition, if said husband wishes to become an American citizen, then he will have to attend a citizenship cl**** and pass a citizenship test, so if it is good enough for the US gov, then I say it is good enough for me.

I wonder how much English one needs to pass the citizenship test? I personally know people who barely know 20 words in English and have passed the test. And those people are actually quite depressed here and not at all integrated in society.
And even high school drop-outs speak English at an "advanced" level (if compared with non-native speakers).
So, the question isn't whether or not it's worthwhile to learn English and reach the highest level possible (which I believe it is, 100%), but whether or not we should spend money on classes or if we should force ourselves to study together without classes. I really don't mind teaching him, but it's a problem somehow to sit down and do it.

DavidB
31-05-2011, 18:19
In fact, the Russian government has these tests in place, and they are called the TORFL. I would guess that in the future, one will be required to pass these tests to receive a visa or a work permit.

For citizenship - yes
For residence permits - maybe
For visas - I doubt it very much.

xSnoofovich
31-05-2011, 18:19
I guess that would be any job where you have contact with other people?

Such as what.

Does a EM sales/trader need to speak English to trade with Russian counter-parties?

Does an English speaking sales/trader need to speak Russian to work the EM market?

Answer: Nope.

xSnoofovich
31-05-2011, 18:21
For citizenship - yes
For residence permits - maybe
For visas - I doubt it very much.

Visas = grey area.

I would say for a tourist visa, no need. For a biz visa, could be possible, but prob no need. For a work visa, should be mandatory.

DavidB
31-05-2011, 18:25
Visas = grey area.

I would say for a tourist visa, no need. For a biz visa, could be possible, but prob no need. For a work visa, should be mandatory.

Do you have any idea how many people come to Russia on work visas without speaking a word of Russian?

AstarD
31-05-2011, 18:27
No. But the question was about smchilds and her husband and how would be the best way to learn English.

DavidB
31-05-2011, 18:30
Such as what.

Does a EM sales/trader need to speak English to trade with Russian counter-parties?

Does an English speaking sales/trader need to speak Russian to work the EM market?

Answer: Nope.

I assume you're talking about "emerging markets". At some point, a translator would be needed.

I think you're missing the point that English is a global language and you can find English speakers in all fields everywhere. If someone comes to the US and doesn't speak English, they're confined to their family and their own group of immigrants (eg. Russian community).

xSnoofovich
31-05-2011, 18:32
And even high school drop-outs speak English at an "advanced" level (if compared with non-native speakers).
So, the question isn't whether or not it's worthwhile to learn English and reach the highest level possible (which I believe it is, 100%), but whether or not we should spend money on classes or if we should force ourselves to study together without classes. I really don't mind teaching him, but it's a problem somehow to sit down and do it.

I would argue that a lot of what we are taking (experiences regarding hs dropouts, etc) about comes from a white, middle class society, and the ideals and aspirations that are part of that social group. If we looked at other demographics, the results might be different. I don't know where you found immigrants with 20 word vocabs, but somehow they are able to make a living, and as to being depressed, hey, we all are depressed sometimes, and we all are depressed sometimes in our "adopted" country.

I would say that he and you need time to adjust to a new reality. Didn't you just move back to the US? Doesn't your husband need time to adjust and get into the swing of things?

The whole talk about needing help with homework to me seems to be a non-issue.

Why?
1) it is many years in the future.
2) if you have a child, and you speak to your child in one language, and your husband in another, your child will be bi-lingual. why wouldn't you child be able to explain (translate) the situation to your husband in his native language? and then they are able to discuss the problem in their own language, and the child would be able to translate the idea back into English?

etc etc.

xSnoofovich
31-05-2011, 18:33
Do you have any idea how many people come to Russia on work visas without speaking a word of Russian?

Yea, and its a shame, right?

I mean, how can one integrate oneself into society, albeit only for a year or three, without speaking a * SINGLE * word.

DavidB
31-05-2011, 18:33
No. But the question was about smchilds and her husband and how would be the best way to learn English.

I agree..

From the intermediate level, make sure he has plenty of movies with subtitles. It helps to hear a lot of dialogue.
You can download them from RuTracker, but I'm not so sure about the legal aspects, and it may be risky, especially in the US. You could buy official copies, and then you have a legitimate reason for downloading the ones with subtitles.

DavidB
31-05-2011, 18:37
Yea, and its a shame, right?

I mean, how can one integrate oneself into society, albeit only for a year or three, without speaking a * SINGLE * word.

I already explained - English speakers can be found in Russia in all fields. It's the opposite for Russian in the US.

I think most people who are planning a long-term future in Russia do try to learn the language as much as possible.

Anyway, your argument that the guy doesn't need English in the US is ridiculous and isn't helping the original poster at all.

xSnoofovich
31-05-2011, 18:40
Anyway, your argument that the guy doesn't need English in the US is ridiculous and isn't helping the original poster at all.

No, you are wrong. I didn't say that he doesn't need English. OP stated that he has a pre-intermediate level, and I stated that an intermediate level is all that is needed to function in American society.

Anything more than that is gravy, and of course, we hold immigrants to a higher standard than our own-born-and-raised, but this whole situation sounds more like a personal issue(s) projected onto a language problem.

xSnoofovich
31-05-2011, 18:43
Exactly. He should take systematic courses of English. Several courses over a long enough period of time - just what you did learning Russian.

This is the answer.

The second answer is to find him some motivation to learn the language and to become integrated, such as finding a medical course that interests him, and could lead to future employment, or a hobby that captivates him which would lead to forming friendships and encouraging him to interact with others in English.

xSnoofovich
31-05-2011, 18:58
By the way, if anyone cares, one may view "pre-intermediate" lvl worksheets here.

http://www.pearsonlongman.com/newcuttingedge/pre-intermediate/worksheets.html

http://www.pearsonlongman.com/newcuttingedge/pdfs/worksheets/CE_Pre-Int_module_15_web_worksheet.pdf


Module 15 Imagine

This worksheet is designed for use after completion of pages 132–135.
1 Students decide which of these things they do before and during an exam.
2 Students complete the sentences, using will clauses.

Possible answers:

a If you sleep well before the exam, you’ll be rested and perform better.
b If you revise a little every day, you’ll remember facts better.
c If you try and study everything the night before the exam, you won’t remember anything.
d If you cheat, you’re exam will be cancelled.
e If you don’t go to all the classes, you won’t see all the material.
f If you don’t answer all the questions, it will be impossible to get full marks.

3
a If I were president, my life would be completely different.
b If it were 1923, I wouldn’t be here.
c If I spoke English perfectly, I wouldn’t be studying now.
d If John Lennon were alive today, he would still be singing.
e If there were less wars the world would be a better place.
f If I played football for Manchester United, I’d be very famous.
g If I were rich, I’d buy a yacht.
h If I were you, I’d buy them a present.

4 Students complete the quotes by John Lennon to make correct conditional sentences.
Students should be able to see they can write contracted forms of will and would where
there is an apostrophe (’). Check the answers with the group and discuss the quotes if
you have time.

a ‘I’m an artist, and if you give me a tuba*, I’ll bring you something out of it.’
b ‘If you put me with B.B. King**, I would feel real silly.’
c ‘If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.’
d ‘You can’t cheat kids. If you cheat them when they’re children, they’ll make you pay when
they’re sixteen or seventeen.’
e ‘If all politicians were like Pierre Trudeau***, there would be world peace.’

xSnoofovich
31-05-2011, 19:11
And here is intermediate:

http://www.pearsonlongman.com/newcuttingedge/intermediate/worksheets.html



Module 12 Dilemmas

This worksheet is designed for use after completion of pages 122Ė125.

1 Suggested answers

a When we got back from the supermarket we found the eggs were broken.
They should have carried them more carefully.
b My mobile phone battery ran out.
He should have recharged it.
c I didnít like the food I had in the restaurant yesterday.
You should have ordered something different.
d I canít call him back - I canít remember his phone number.
You should have written down the number.
e I arrived late for work.
You should have got up earlier.
f I got really wet.
She should have taken an umbrella.
g The shop assistant was really rude to me.
You should have complained.
h I got sunburnt.
You should have put sun cream on.

2 Ask students to talk to their partners about what they can remember about Erin, Kieron and Margot. Get feedback, then students complete these sentences.

a If Erin hadnít had a baby, she would have continued working.
b Erin would have spent time away from her children if she hadnít left her job.
c Erinís family would have had more money if she had stayed in her old job.
d If Kieron hadnít broken his leg, he might have become a top class footballer.
e Kieron wouldnít have become a coach if he had been able to play for a big club.
f If Kieron had fulfilled his ambitions, he might be happier now.
g Margot wouldnít have met Nikos if she had not gone to Greece for her holidays.
h She would still be living in England if she hadnít married Nikos.
i If she hadnít moved to Greece, she might still be a nurse now

smchilds
31-05-2011, 19:53
Well, yeah, you can function in Russia without Russian (well, in Moscow anyway). In fact, some people feel superior and can't be bothered to learn the language. Of course, some people have short-term contracts and no time/motivation to learn. But I am 100% sure that knowing Russian while in Moscow makes your time much more enjoyable. But the fact is that someone can live in Moscow and not speak Russian and still feel "above" normal society. Someone who lives in the US and doesn't speak English is a loser. I mean, that is the general perception, regardless of the person's country of origin.

MickeyTong
31-05-2011, 19:58
So, I am an English teacher. My husband is not a native English speaker. In fact his level might be pre-intermediate. I try to teach him but it doesn't amount to much. So I am looking for advice. Should I buckle down and force him to study with me? Or should I send him to language courses?..... But I feel a little reluctant to send him to classes when in theory i can teach him myself... hm.. :confused:

Language is a very "personal" thing. Though your husband may want to improve his English he'll probably want to do so at his own pace. He may not want to "disappoint" you or appear a bit slow in your eyes. The role of being your "pupil" may not sit well with the role of being your "husband".

From your side - your "personal" relationship may interfere with your effectiveness as a teacher, making you too lenient, perhaps, or getting annoyed when he isn't quick enough to learn.

Send him on a language course. Or, rather, don't "send" him but let him choose to go.

smchilds
31-05-2011, 19:58
I would argue that a lot of what we are taking (experiences regarding hs dropouts, etc) about comes from a white, middle class society, and the ideals and aspirations that are part of that social group. If we looked at other demographics, the results might be different. I don't know where you found immigrants with 20 word vocabs, but somehow they are able to make a living, and as to being depressed, hey, we all are depressed sometimes, and we all are depressed sometimes in our "adopted" country.

I would say that he and you need time to adjust to a new reality. Didn't you just move back to the US? Doesn't your husband need time to adjust and get into the swing of things?

The whole talk about needing help with homework to me seems to be a non-issue.

Why?
1) it is many years in the future.
2) if you have a child, and you speak to your child in one language, and your husband in another, your child will be bi-lingual. why wouldn't you child be able to explain (translate) the situation to your husband in his native language? and then they are able to discuss the problem in their own language, and the child would be able to translate the idea back into English?

etc etc.

Haha, um... yeah, I am not trying to identify with illiterate people that live in slums of west Philly. Yeah, I have personally tried to teach 10-12 year olds who couldn't read and probably finished school not being able to read. The point is, sorry, but my circle doesn't include those people and likely never will. Nor will his. And we're not aspiring to be like such people. Whether or not you can scrape by in the US without English isn't the point. Whether or not English should be learned isn't the question.

I don't know my husband's native language but am learning it. We speak in Russian which is not native for either of us. If our kid speaks his native language I want to know the language as well as he does. If he speaks English, my husband wants to speak English as well as he does. Having to translate etc. is not realistic in family life and somewhat stupid. Also, having a kid who speaks a language you don't know well is somewhat dangerous :P Plus, kids tend to be embarrassed enough by their parents without giving them more reason to be :P

smchilds
31-05-2011, 20:00
It's true that the average poorly educated American doesn't know how to make a proper "3rd conditional" sentence and probably doesn't know how to spell. But they are still better able to communicate here than a non-native speaker with minimal English who has spent no time here. I don't see high-school dropouts struggling to buy things at the supermarket or buying tickets or feeling bored when they watch movies because they don't know the language well enough.

smchilds
31-05-2011, 20:11
I wouldn't say I am projecting personal issues onto a language problem. There isn't really a language problem or really personal issues. The idea is whether or not there is real value in attending a 3-week intensive course or if money should be saved and we should spend time working on our own. The only people who could really comment are people who attended such courses or opted not to attend such courses.
I don't believe intermediate level is enough. To "function" ok, but who aspires to merely "function?" Yeah, he would likely be hired by McDonalds. Maybe he can pick up on some vocab little by little. But if you live outside of a big city, in a place where there are few immigrants, then people don't really know how to deal with you when you don't understand them or they take it for granted that you understand more than you do. He has misunderstandings with my parents on a regular basis. For example, he accidentally told my father that he knows how to repair cars and then my father set him up to repair his car, when he totally lacks such skills :P In my mind, the question isn't about moving up to advanced grammar, but more vocabulary/reading/listening. I think the grammar found in advanced-level books is already unnecessary for daily life but the vocabulary is useful.

I would say that someone who moves to a new country, can't speak the language or find a decent job, and has no one of his native language to speak with (and no TV to watch, no films, etc) is at greater risk of depression than the average person. It can be very alienating. I am a totally optimistic person and was inclined towards minor depression when I first when to Russia, and that was taking into account the fact that I did have a boyfriend there and "you don't need Russian in Russia." I think it's important to be able to participate in society like other members of said society without constantly tuning out or having to ask someone to translate for you.

About getting used to the US again, or having an adjustment period - I don't need an adjustment period. Of course he needs to adjust, but it will be easier to adjust the faster he learns the language.

xSnoofovich
31-05-2011, 20:15
Having to translate etc. is not realistic in family life and somewhat stupid.

While there are many theories on how to raise a bi-lingual child, I feel the best is the One parent, One language approach.

http://www.raising-bilingual-children.com/basics/info/rules/

http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&hl=en&safe=off&source=hp&q=one%20parent%20one%20language&aq=0l&aqi=g-l3g-lv2&aql=&oq=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=f1ecd86b2ef3a297&biw=1280&bih=933&pf=p&pdl=300

The kid isn't even going to know when he is "translating" back and forth between the languages (in his mind).

Anyways, it is all in the future, plenty of time to worry about that later.

franzewich
31-05-2011, 20:22
... For a work visa, should be mandatory.

What a bizarre idea!

If every country would require language proficiency, the entire world economy would come to a screeching halt! Don't forget that some business visas are valid for 3 months only.

Look at the European Union - their citizens can choose freely in which country to work, without any language restrictions.

smchilds
31-05-2011, 20:24
Sure, one parent one language. I have told my husband to speak his native language when they are together. The point is that we will usually be together the three of us. And I will be staying home with the kid. And we are living in the US. And he will go to an English-language school. So his English will be much better than any other language he picks up. And if we are all three together, we will stick to English. I don't think it's comfortable to feel that your child speaks a language better than you do, and it could also allow the child to take advantage of that somehow :P

MickeyTong
31-05-2011, 20:48
I wouldn't say I am projecting personal issues onto a language problem. There isn't really a language problem or really personal issues.

Sorry....I didn't mean to suggest any personal "issues" at all.

I just think that language learning involves the Self more than learning many other things.

franzewich
31-05-2011, 20:54
Sure, one parent one language. I have told my husband to speak his native language when they are together. The point is that we will usually be together the three of us. And I will be staying home with the kid. And we are living in the US. And he will go to an English-language school. So his English will be much better than any other language he picks up. And if we are all three together, we will stick to English. I don't think it's comfortable to feel that your child speaks a language better than you do, and it could also allow the child to take advantage of that somehow :P

Frankly, I would not worry too much about it! :) My fiancee is Russian, linguist with teaching license. We've been together since last August, but my Russian ist still atrocious, and so is her German. But in October she will start an acadamic year for her PhD in my hometown! I'm convinced she will pick up the language very quickly with a couple of courses in-country. We were told by other foreign students that they have made that experience.

Just make sure that your hubby doesn't hang out with fellow contrymen only. He will eventually learn in his job and in his everyday life. ;)

smchilds
31-05-2011, 20:55
I also don't really think someone should be *forced* to learn a language in order to get a job and etc. In many cases, knowing English is enough. I currently have a Russian student living in Switzerland who is studying English with me in order to get a job...in Switzerland. She doesn't speak French, German or Italian, but thinks English is more worthwhile in that job market. Certainly in many countries English is enough. I don't look down on people who don't learn the local language. What's the point, if you have no time and don't find it interesting, and manage to participate in society (I mean, like, have a job and etc) without dragging that society down.

Someone sent me a PM saying it's not worthwhile for him to go to the courses. I think, on the one hand, 3 weeks isn't a lot of time, but on the other hand it's good to have a systematic approach and also to encounter different teaching styles, since his only teacher is currently me. Of course, classes would be in addition to hobbies, social interaction, lessons with me, lots of TV/movies.

There's also the question of whether or not you can really learn a language just *being* somewhere. That doesn't work for me. I need to use books and study. Maybe it works for some people. But I think it's important to read, do exercises, vocabulary drills, etc. in order to really put new words into your head.

One thing I can say: my husband appreciates money, so I am sure that if we pay for the courses he will take them seriously. It costs $1200 for 3 weeks, 9-5pm, 5 days a week. I'm not sure whether that's cheap or expensive...it seems reasonable...but then again he is currently not working (waiting for the green card...ugh) and I am semi-working, so I don't want to throw money away. In fact I am not forcing him or pressuring him to go or not to go. He is totally open to the idea and we are just considering it. The courses start in July, so we have another month to think about it.

smchilds
31-05-2011, 21:00
Anything more than that is gravy, and of course, we hold immigrants to a higher standard than our own-born-and-raised, but this whole situation sounds more like a personal issue(s) projected onto a language problem.


Well, the question of "personal issues" was more about this post.

Of course learning a language, learning anything, is personal. I have a Russian ex-bf who lived with me and reached advanced level in English (without my help) while we were living together. But it seemed that he made a concerted effort to catch on to what I was saying, watched a LOT of TV and movies, and studied a lot on his own. My husband now is not really that type. I can't see him studying on his own. If he did, I wouldn't send him to courses at all, because I think that independent study while living here and taking some lessons from me would be enough. As it is, all I can do is really talk to him and spend time with my family, and I don't know if that's enough for fast progress.
One good thing - the only immigrants around here are Spanish-speaking :P So, he has no one to speak his native language with :P

smchilds
31-05-2011, 21:04
Frankly, I would not worry too much about it! :) My fiancee is Russian, linguist with teaching license. We've been together since last August, but my Russian ist still atrocious, and so is her German. But in October she will start an acadamic year for her PhD in my hometown! I'm convinced she will pick up the language very quickly with a couple of courses in-country. We were told by other foreign students that they have made that experience.

Just make sure that your hubby doesn't hang out with fellow contrymen only. He will eventually learn in his job and in his everyday life. ;)

So, you speak German and she speaks Russian...what is your common language? :)
Actually, I can say that my husband picked up Russian by living in Russia, without taking classes. And he was very successful in Moscow. But I think Russians are a lot more forgiving of mistakes made by foreigners, because Russians kind of have an inferiority complex anyway, and are impressed that foreigners would learn Russian at all (I mean, some foreigners, not really those from Kyrgyzstan or Ukraine :P) And, my husband moved to Russia when he was 20. Now he's 40. Learning when you're 20 is easier than when you're 40 I suppose.

FlakeySnowballer
31-05-2011, 21:10
Yea, that is right. Why?

Unless the person is going to vote, read books, or really want to take a vocal role in society, why do they need more than an intermediate level in English?

To receive a citizenship i guess

franzewich
31-05-2011, 21:16
So, you speak German and she speaks Russian...what is your common language? :)
Actually, I can say that my husband picked up Russian by living in Russia, without taking classes. And he was very successful in Moscow. But I think Russians are a lot more forgiving of mistakes made by foreigners, because Russians kind of have an inferiority complex anyway, and are impressed that foreigners would learn Russian at all (I mean, some foreigners, not really those from Kyrgyzstan or Ukraine :P) And, my husband moved to Russia when he was 20. Now he's 40. Learning when you're 20 is easier than when you're 40 I suppose.

We speak English most of the time, it is too dangerously comfortable! :) She speaks 6 languages, but unfortunately not German too well, yet.
So your husband does have a talent for languages. Another reason not to worry. And 40 isn't that old (I'm somewhat older! ;) )
I don't think Russians have an inferiority complex; it is more a fascination for western cultures which they had been deprived of for too long.
I found Americans very forgiving reagarding mistakes. When I was in the U.S. even my GF did not correct me. "What do you want - everybody understands what you are talking about!" ;)

Everything will be fine!

FlakeySnowballer
31-05-2011, 21:29
Try these podcasts - teacherluke.podomatic.com. This guy is a wonderful English teacher.

Periwinkle
31-05-2011, 21:37
I agree with Mickey in that he really needs to want to do it, to do it well and make the course worth the cost.

Also, I think it is a good idea that you are not his main teacher but is able to ask questions when needed etc.
Plus if he just talks to you in English and watches TV it should help alot.

Just out of curriosity - what is his native tongue?

xSnoofovich
31-05-2011, 22:15
Sure, one parent one language. I have told my husband to speak his native language when they are together. The point is that we will usually be together the three of us. And I will be staying home with the kid. And we are living in the US. And he will go to an English-language school. So his English will be much better than any other language he picks up. And if we are all three together, we will stick to English. I don't think it's comfortable to feel that your child speaks a language better than you do, and it could also allow the child to take advantage of that somehow :P

There are many different theories about raising bi- or tri-lingual children. It seems like you already have a gameplan, but just in case-

Amazon.com: Growing up with Three Languages: Birth to Eleven (Parents' and Teachers' Guides) (9781847691064): Xiao-lei Wang: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51s67j3MxYL.@@AMEPARAM@@51s67j3MxYL

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=raising+bilingual+children&x=0&y=0

xSnoofovich
31-05-2011, 22:25
I wouldn't say I am projecting personal issues onto a language problem.

The first few posts were about a child and homework, and the problems that could/would arise, which is many years in the future. This problem doesn't exist yet, so no need to worry about it.



To "function" ok, but who aspires to merely "function?" Yeah, he would likely be hired by McDonalds. Maybe he can pick up on some vocab little by little. But if you live outside of a big city, in a place where there are few immigrants, then people don't really know how to deal with you when you don't understand them or they take it for granted that you understand more than you do.

But, if you live in small town, if prob doesnt matter if you have a degree, are a native speaker, or an immigrant, there prob isnt much demand for a white collar worker.



I think it's important to be able to participate in society like other members of said society without constantly tuning out or having to ask someone to translate for you.

But that will only come over time.



Of course he needs to adjust, but it will be easier to adjust the faster he learns the language.

Of course if he is in a little town, he would need to adjust. And in an another country, and has trouble speaking the language, and living with his parents-in-law. Poor guy !

sweetfart
31-05-2011, 22:44
Recounting my struggles with learning Russian over the past five years, I would say you're better off sending him to formal classes. There is not enough discipline getting lessons from you as his wife. Eventually, there will be times when you will dive off into personal conversations and he will be tempted not to speak in English. I'm saying this from personal experience. I tried having a Russian friend tutor me for Russian and I always ended up goofing off and joking around in English because there was no student-teacher divide. She was my friend and it was hard to take lessons from a friend.

But if you insist, I'm sure it can be done. It'll just be difficult to maintain that discipline.

xSnoofovich
31-05-2011, 22:45
Someone who lives in the US and doesn't speak English is a loser. I mean, that is the general perception, regardless of the person's country of origin.

It is the same in Moscow, actually. The problem is, the people that say these sorts of things may or may not be in your/my "circle". But I know these guys from work, as I overhear them when they talk.

sweetfart
31-05-2011, 22:47
Just out of curiosity (and noseyness) smschilds, may I ask where you're husband is originally from? From my understanding, he's not a native Russian? Knowing that may help us just a little in determining how serious of education he nees.

sweetfart
31-05-2011, 22:50
Oh damn, I misspelled "needs." Maybe I need a serious education.

MickeyTong
31-05-2011, 23:20
Oh damn, I misspelled "needs." Maybe I need a serious education.

Just don't ask a fiend to hlep you.

smchilds
01-06-2011, 00:07
Well, maybe it's not nice to say, but I think Russian people do have an inferiority complex to a large degree. Many, many Russian people have explicitly told me so and I have observed it. When I first went to Russia, the response I always got (from Russian people) was "what are you doing here???" Like, why wouldn't you stay in America, why would you choose to come to Russia. I don't think you find a similar attitude in western Europe or developed Asian countries. Maybe this is more common among middle-class people, who kind of recognize a lack of freedom in Russia and etc. I suppose people like skin heads don't suffer from an inferiority complex (although maybe that's what it is, that makes them act out). But that's a totally different question :P

Dealing with Russian people, they always seemed surprised that I spoke Russian at all. So, it is not taken for granted that living in Russia (as a foreigner) you should speak Russian, as it is taken for granted that you should speak English in the US. Usually people assume that I don't speak Russian, even when I am in the middle of speaking Russian with them (!!). Haha, but it has actually happened when someone said, in Russian, "you can't understand what we're saying because you don't speak Russian," and I answered, in Russian, "actually, I understand you fine" and yet they didn't believe that I could speak. All of my interactions have never made me believe that Russians think you're a loser if you are from the west and don't speak Russian. At least not in general. I know that in some companies people have bosses who might not speak Russian, and people might resent that, but it's not that they think they're a loser, I guess it's a different kind of attitude. Yes, I have heard of people making fun of people from former Soviet countries who speak Russian poorly, but I guess that's different.

My husband is from Syria and his native language is Arabic.

About the small town - any small town has a lower population of immigrants. It doesn't have to be in the middle of nowhere with no white collar jobs (and, in medicine, it makes no difference where anyway, there are plenty of jobs in small towns...in fact, as a foreigner, if he works in medicine his residency will have to be in an under-served area). But anyway, even a small town which is a suburb of Miami or Boston is much less occupied by immigrants than the actual inner-city part.

About adjusting, well, it depends on the person. For me/him there isn't an adjustment period so there's no point in waiting to start with the language. He moved from Syria to Russia and then lived 50/50 in Dubai and Moscow for a long time, and as of 2 years ago left Russia about 45 times per year for business. So, he is able to adjust quickly :P

It's definitely hard to teach your friends. I never got anything from "language exchange" because someone has to be a teacher to teach you. I don't mean a professional teacher, but they have to have that "teacher" quality which not everyone has. So, when I did language exchange, no one managed to correct my mistakes or help me improve my vocabulary. It was ok but not really productive. In my case, I am a teacher with a lot of experience, so I can kind of sneakily teach him without his noticing, or force him to learn words, or consciously insert new words into the conversation and check whether he remembers or not. So far he hasn't gotten annoyed with me :P

smchilds
01-06-2011, 00:14
The first few posts were about a child and homework, and the problems that could/would arise, which is many years in the future. This problem doesn't exist yet, so no need to worry about it.



But, if you live in small town, if prob doesnt matter if you have a degree, are a native speaker, or an immigrant, there prob isnt much demand for a white collar worker.



But that will only come over time.



Of course if he is in a little town, he would need to adjust. And in an another country, and has trouble speaking the language, and living with his parents-in-law. Poor guy !

Of course the main issue isn't about helping kids with their homework. It is just one detail. But, in general, it will become an issue in the near future and it does take time to reach a high level in a foreign language, so I think it is better to actively work on it than to just pick it up passively. Being able to participate in society and understand without translating also takes time but again can happen faster if you actively work on it.

smchilds
01-06-2011, 00:18
There are many different theories about raising bi- or tri-lingual children. It seems like you already have a gameplan, but just in case-

Amazon.com: Growing up with Three Languages: Birth to Eleven (Parents' and Teachers' Guides) (9781847691064): Xiao-lei Wang: Books (http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Three-Languages-Parents-Teachers/dp/1847691064/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1306865487&sr=8-10)

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=raising+bilingual+children&x=0&y=0

I would like my kids to be tri-lingual. That will be hard since my native language is English and we are living in the US. We can try to teach the kids Russian but it seems kind of artificial, since it isn't native for either of us and neither of us has family connections in Russia. Oddly, there's also a problem with Arabic since my husband has been living in Russia for the past 20 years and forgot Arabic a little, at least the formal written language.

xSnoofovich
01-06-2011, 09:35
What a bizarre idea!

If every country would require language proficiency, the entire world economy would come to a screeching halt! Don't forget that some business visas are valid for 3 months only.

Look at the European Union - their citizens can choose freely in which country to work, without any language restrictions.

http://www.workpermit.com/france/france.htm#2%20TYPES%20OF%20PERMIT

Does the candidate qualify for a full French work permit?

The accepted requirements regarding experience and qualifications require that the candidate must be a "professional" ("cadre"), so high-level work experience and a degree are essential. Knowledge of the French language is also taken into consideration and will only be of benefit to the application.....

Education is very important as the French authorities consider highly-educated candidates more able to integrate into French society, which is a consideration in the work permit application, as well as the ability to speak French.

Greg
01-06-2011, 09:49
http://www.workpermit.com/france/france.htm#2%20TYPES%20OF%20PERMIT

Does the candidate qualify for a full French work permit?

The accepted requirements regarding experience and qualifications require that the candidate must be a "professional" ("cadre"), so high-level work experience and a degree are essential. Knowledge of the French language is also taken into consideration and will only be of benefit to the application.....

Education is very important as the French authorities consider highly-educated candidates more able to integrate into French society, which is a consideration in the work permit application, as well as the ability to speak French.

And as in every society... there are many terms around... if they really want your skill set. "Wasta, Blat, Vetternwirtschaft"... I've yet to work in a country where this couldn't be applied. From the corporate viewpoint, it’s not about integration into society, it’s solely about filling a professional niche… and they’ll pay what it takes to simply “get it done”. There’s not a country in the world I can’t work in if my employer really wants it, regardless of my education, or inability to speak a local language. As arrogant as that may sound, it is a simple truth.

One other back lash to these type of imposed restrictions effects your working class people who are brought into the country for service and labor positions and then abused, and used like slaves with no recourse as if they go to authorities are simply deported as illegal or problematic. A lot of “so called” smart men of many countries set these regulations in place with full knowledge of the backdoors that exist and the implications there of. (if they pick the right country they get to play with the hotel staff) :p

xSnoofovich
01-06-2011, 09:52
And as in every society... there are many terms around... if the really want your skill set. "Wasta, Blat, Vetternwirtschaft"... I've yet to work in a country where this couldn't be applied.

Well, that may be, but the point is that this was not only my idea. Some pretty smart French guys thought it was important as well.

So the idea is not that far out there.

franzewich
01-06-2011, 10:25
http://www.workpermit.com/france/france.htm#2%20TYPES%20OF%20PERMIT

Does the candidate qualify for a full French work permit?

The accepted requirements regarding experience and qualifications require that the candidate must be a "professional" ("cadre"), so high-level work experience and a degree are essential. Knowledge of the French language is also taken into consideration and will only be of benefit to the application.....

Education is very important as the French authorities consider highly-educated candidates more able to integrate into French society, which is a consideration in the work permit application, as well as the ability to speak French.

Now, again: I was referring to EU (Schengen) nationals. Despite many different languages spoken within the EU, all Schengen citizens have the right to work within the member countries without visa or work permit - no language proficiency is required! (of course, it is strongly recommended to acquire the "basic language skills"!)

Here is an sample description for Germany:
http://www.stepstone.de/Career-Advice/working-in-germany.cfm

(btw., the link you gave us is from 2008! And the French always have their own ways! ;) )

Marie Octobre
01-06-2011, 14:03
So, I am an English teacher. My husband is not a native English speaker. In fact his level might be pre-intermediate. I try to teach him but it doesn't amount to much. So I am looking for advice. Should I buckle down and force him to study with me? Or should I send him to language courses? The community college in my town offers a 3-week intensive course (9am-5pm) for about $1200. He is here with me now (in my town, in the USA) and learning English is imperative. But I feel a little reluctant to send him to classes when in theory i can teach him myself... hm.. :confused:


Dоеs he like reading? He can read books to your child in English. Children books in USA are wonderful and make learning seem like a game. And of course reading thrillers helps with vocabulary a lot. Help him with a book or two and then go and buy him a good dictionary.

Matt24
02-06-2011, 02:05
3rd party lessons is yer man, I can't remember whose study it was but teaching is like medicine, strong emotional bonds and either parties ability to manipulate the emotions of the other is seriously detrimental to effecient learning and or healing, 1200 bucks seems a reasonable price to pay for domestic bliss

xSnoofovich
04-07-2011, 02:21
update?

Periwinkle
04-07-2011, 12:11
Yes, what did you decide?

rickrocks2
29-07-2011, 12:33
Hey... Its not a race when live together as a couple. Although you should co-operate each other. For the time being your husband is not able to speak English as well but he will speak as fast as you do. This will happen with the passing of time. The home environment will enable him to become like you. For that you should encourage him. Just love him and love his language. You should try to improve his language. But remember ego should not be arose in either of you. Thanks.
_______
Rick B
Watches (http://www.discountwatchstore.com)