Friday, October 17, 2008

How do you FEEL?!

However, I have come to notice that students' use of this word conveys so much about Vietnamese culture.  There is a major emphasis on emotion here.  For example, in my Speaking classes, I call on one student at the beginning of each class to teach me a Vietnamese word- kind of a mini ice breaker each day.  The students love hearing me try to speak Vietnamese!  It has been so fascinating- because the students can pick any word they want to teach me- yet the majority of the words they've chosen to teach me have been "emotive/feeling" words... such as:

        cry

        love

        cheerful

         hate

         beautiful

         smile

         happy

         lovely

         anxious/nervous

It is also evident through their love for music.  I am blown away by their love for singing.  EVERYONE seems to love singing, even if they are horrible at singing.  This has been a stretch for me, because anytime you are in a group setting, even standing in front of the classroom (how embarrassing), you are asked to sing a song.  The more dramatic and emotional and romantic the song- the more popular it is.  The band "Westlife" is SUPER big here, as is Karen Carpenter, and Celine Dion :)

I have found that I can use "emotion" to my advantage in the classroom.  Since it is so important to the students, I will tell them that I FEEL very sad when they do not do their homework or follow my instructions.  On the other hand, when I am proud of them and want to affirm them, I tell them I FEEL very happy about their work.  That seems to work wonders.  Acting out different vocabulary words as dramatically as possible in front of the classroom is also a big hit!

Anyway, just a few thoughts on Vietnamese culture.  I hope you feel joyful in Him today!

PS- Today is "Women's Day" in Vietnam!  Roses are being sold all along the streets and everyone is wishing women a "Happy Day."  I asked if there was a "Men's Day"... and the answer was no- because every day is Men's Day... but that's a whole different cultural topic for another blog!

3 comments:

David Farnum said...

That's a really good culture observation. I feel impressed that you picked up on it so quickly!

Anonymous said...

As your biological father and one of your mentor / coaches, I feel good about you! I'm home today on an antibiotic and strong cough medicine. Hoping to return to work tomorrow. I love you!

Robert

janet said...

Thanks for blogging and sharing your experiences with us who remain at home- that's a part of th world I'll never see except thru your eyes. Wow!