We Don’t Know What You Guys Think

“We really want to make friends with any American students.”

Hold a Conversation

Can you imagine leading a conversation about this story? Where? With whom? What kinds of questions would you pose? (See How to use the questions for reflection for one approach.) Please email your questions to us or post them in the comment box for our consideration. If you use them in an actual discussion, let us know how the conversation went.

Transcript for We Don’t Know What You Guys Think

Language is a really big issue for our Chinese students.  For us, even we start learning English very young, but we didn’t speak a lot when we was in China.  The Valpo community can, like, give us some environment, or give us some opportunity to help us to practice English when we first come here.  Because when I first come here, I had a really bad time to, you know, speak English.  I even cannot talk at all.  But after awhile, I start to talk with people, so I start to practice English.  And kind of, I speak English every day, so my English can get, you know, improved a lot during that time.

I think some American students, they say like, ‘Chinese students are so quiet in the class.’  Because maybe we lack the confidence or, you know, maybe our language is not so good, so we are not really want to talk in the class.  It is so different between China and America, because in China, we cannot say whatever we want in the class.  We have to—‘Hands up,’ the professor says, ‘Then you can talk.’  It’s not like here when something you don’t know, you can just point it out, but in China, we cannot do that.

For our Chinese students, we are really will[ing] to make friends with American students.  Maybe American students think we are not so welcome or something, but for us, we are really nice, and we really want to make friends with American—any American students.  It’s a little bit hard for American students to understand what we say, and still, the language barrier is a problem.  For our Chinese students, we really want to be their friends, so it really depends who is going to, you know, open this conversation first.  For us, because we don’t know like, what you guys think.  So a lot of Chinese students wouldn’t like, speak at first, like, you know, getting to know each other, or we just feel nervous about what if we said is wrong?  Or what if they don’t want to be our friends?  So most of the time, I think it’s because of this, is who becomes the first one to speak up?

Maybe a couple of my friends, they really want to go back home.  Because their English is not very well and they cannot understand in the class.  They don’t have any confidence to stay here anymore, so they just want to go back home.  Their grades are not very good, and so they just don’t want to stay here anymore.  But for most of us, we really appreciate this opportunity to come here, you know, to have a very good education here.  So, I think most of us feel very good to be here.