We have a guest contribution from Gill for the first time in a little while. She’s right. Learning English is hard enough when it’s your first language let alone your second, and slang just adds to the…fun?
Canada’s Cool Factor
We are a nation of immigrants, so whether you are the son of Cambodian refugees, or the daughter of ninth generation Canadians, we all came from somewhere
“What The Smerf?`
A very good friend of mine came from Pakistan in 1981 at the age of five, and she told me that she learned around 90% of her English by watching things such as The Barba Papas, and the Smerfs. It has been said that that is a great way to learn English, and lets not forget the cool factor.
Plop It Down, but don’t give me The stink eye
What those ESL classes don’t teach is the commonly used slangs. My sister worked as a bank manager in Toronto, and was enveloped by a plethora of nationalities. One time around Christmas her financial advisor, who had immigrated from Iraq had a document and asked her where to put said document. Heather looked at him and replied, “oh just plop it on my desk.` Having only been in Canada a couple of years he asked, “tell me about this word plop?`
The lady who cleans my house is from Serbia, and has only lived in Canada three years. Her English although improving is still quite limited. Recently I told her “with Elora gone there’s no one to give you the stink eye.` She smiled with the smile of the genuinely confused, so I explained that the stink eye was just another way of saying dirty looks.
Put yourself in their shoes, and imagine what it would be like to learn another language. Also give yourself the opportunity to teach someone the cool way, yes those general things are good, but plop some slang in as well.