Friday, June 10, 2011

English as a fourth, or fifth, or sixth language

I’m over the missing Red Sox cap, kinda. Seems like someone slice open the bottom of my last package to Erdene and lad and removed his Red Sox hat. I’m still a bit peeved, but as Erdene noted, no one in Mongolia follows the Sox, they barely have a college baseball team in UB. Pumpkin is all about the wrestling anyway.

On a positive note, Erdene is in the second week of an English grammar and advanced vocabulary class. Three months long, seven days a week and six hours a day for the most part and all for $120 a month. The owner of the class is a professor from UB who speaks 25 languages, at least on a conversational level. I’ve heard his lectures on the tube while in Mongolia and he is very persuasive in his approach. Day to day, the teacher is one of his students, but his approach transcends the individual teacher. I was impressed enough to buy his book for sister Selenge and brother Amara. E’s classmates are middle school students and she is happy to be first in the class so far. While her vocabulary is excellent, she missed some things in her earlier college classes, that while familiar to a native speaker, don’t appear in Mongolian language. Items such as; possessives, tenses, and definite articles. Mongolians, historically, just don’t write or speak in the past, future, or possessive and the he, she, it, tends to devolve to a gender neutral article. The course will cover French and German after a couple of months of English and if the student is thought to be receptive to languages, they offer another segment dealing with Chinese. To say I am impressed with her abilities would be an understatement. Also, she has to arise early and take two crazy rat vans from apartment 3 across the valley to the school site. Plus, dealing with himself in the morning.

She is enjoying herself and the lad has been packed off to Grandpa’s where under Aunt Solta’s supervision he is running amok in the countryside as every young boy should do.

Immigration has all the paperwork required and fees and is digesting at it's own pace. While slow, at least they have everything and it seems to be in order. Hoping to have them here in sunny Sandy Eggo, before the chinese class starts, although I"m sure she will make the grade, I would just as soon she finishes up her lessons here, although I hope she has time to speak in french a bit. I love the accent and Mongolian sibilants lend themselves to the Francois. I'll update this with pics when her schedule provides.