Thursday, June 22, 2006

In a Verbose Mood This AM

Since I'm gonna be gone for a Couple of days, thought I'd give y'all two installments today.

Many years ago, when my Mother still lived in Houston, she had two young Iraqi men living next door. It was the mid '90's and things were good. They were just out of University and working in their first jobs as Civil Engineers. Mother is friendly and a nurturer and they were friendly and a friendship began.

Ten + years have gone by and Mother is still friends with Essam, and now with his wife and three beautiful younge daughters as well. A few years ago, after Essam married, he moved to the N.TX area, so we still get to see him sometimes.

His niece recently came over from Iraq to attend University here. Now she is not one of those free-loading immigrants. Essam makes more than enough from his business to support his own family, but this niece as well.

While she has a basic understanding of English, Essam is not satisfied with her progress in speaking the language. At his home, she's been somewhat lazy. His daughters all speak Arabic. With a Texas accent, but they speak Arabic. And in spite of Daddy's instruction's to help their cousin with her English skills, she's not making progress. He and his wife have been speaking only English to her, but it hasn't been enough practice for improvement.

Then Essam had a "scathingly brilliant idea". He called Mother yesterday. Next week he is packing his niece's bags, and she will come to my Mother's apartment for 3 weeks and have a total immersion in English language, well Texas dialect, and customs.

I told Mother I'd try to come over every day or maybe every other day and take her out for a bit. Just to get her out of the apartment, give them a break from one another, and let her see some of our town, maybe go to the Mall, or go get Greek food, since it's similar to what she eats at home, I think.

I hear total immersion is the way to go if you want to learn a new language. I'll let y'all know how this little social experiment goes.

HollyB

1 comment:

Flo said...

Go Essam!