Teaching English To Strangers
This wasn’t what I originally intended to post today but I thought I’d just share a heart-warming story of something that happened to me today.
It was mid-afternoon and I was lazing about on the grass by the local fountain, drinking a smoothie and basking in the lovely sunshine (the fountain is also a pokestop surrounded by lots of other pokestops so I may have had an ulterior motive for being there…). There were two men nearby, one Scottish one English, scouring the paper for rentals. There was a couple behind me having a meal-deal picnic on the grass together. There were lots of solo people lying around reading or snoozing in the heat, maybe on their lunch breaks, definitely oblivious to the fact that I was noticing them at all.
I’d been there for about half an hour just watching the world go by (and collecting pokeballs every three minutes or so, obv), when I heard a voice I didn’t recognise tentatively saying hi to me. I looked up to see a guy, around my age, looking down at me. “Hi,” I replied, friendly but quizzically. The stranger explained that he was originally from Africa but had come over to the UK alone to learn how to speak English. He asked if he could chat with me for a while to practice. Of course, I happily obliged!
We sat on the grass in the sun chatting about ourselves and our lives. His English was pretty good already; he only had to ask how to say a couple of words and he only had to translate one thing I said. He told me that he’d come to England on his own a few weeks ago but had been living in Liverpool before coming here- and he prefers it here to Liverpool because our accents are easier to understand! He told me he doesn’t have many friends in this country that he can practice his English with so he finds people willing to help. He asked me about my life so I told him I’d just graduated with a psychology degree and now I don’t know what I’m doing. I told him I’ll probably do a masters in legal psychology next year.
After a while he asked if he could add me on Facebook and if it’d be okay if he messaged me sometime to practice some more or to clarify what some words mean. He handed me his phone so I found my profile and added myself. He had a little look at my profile before we said our goodbyes and he went on his way.
My day, and this whole weekend, has been pretty terrible to be honest, and this cheered me up a quite a bit. There were plenty of people sitting by themselves this afternoon but this guy, Adam, chose me to come and speak to. I feel flattered.
It also brightened up my day simply because I went into town for no reason other than to get out of the house, and I left with a new friend.