Today at the gym, I got a first hand taste of what my students might feel when they try to talk to me.
I was sitting around, waiting to do another set when the owner came up to me and started talking in Korean. Now, I can sorta say stuff in Korean, but I need to concentrate really hard, the speaker needs to be slow and pronounce very clearly. Sadly, the situation at the gym offered none of these things. I think he was asking me what I did that weekend, but I can’t be sure. I think it was frustrating for the both of us because I wanted to hear his question and he seemed interested in what I was up to in Korea.
That feeling of wanting to talk to someone but being unable to is exactly what my students must feel when they come up to me. They approach me, go “Oh! Hello Simon! … ummmm ….. sorry.” and leave. It’s a bad feeling and I try to help them by speaking slowly, using easy words, using my hands, often dropping articles and odd verb tenses.
Eventually I’d like to know enough Korean to be able to have a conversation with my gym owner, see what he’s got to say. Someday.