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Friday, 30 January  2009  Friday review

On our weekly review today we're going to have another look at the people we talked to at the party for international students. And then we're going to talk a bit about home, and look at some slang phrases.


We'll start by listening to Leo.

Hi. My name's Leo Cheong and I'm from Singapore and I'm currently studying at the University of Adelaide. I'm currently in my second year of my double degree, economics and finance.

Well, basically, the Governor of South Australia, she has graciously hosted this event for international students who are graduating this year, and it's not just university students but also the secondary and college students as well. So, it's just a nice sort of thing, a farewell sort of party I guess for international students.

Well, I would say I wasn't very prepared to start living in a different country, away from home, away from all the creature comforts, and I had quite a few rude shocks coming to Adelaide for the first time.

Well, basically, I'm just amazed at the new things I learn every day. I've been here for almost two years but I find myself continually being challenged and also making new friends and learning so many different things about Australia, and there's just so much more to learn.

Leo is from Singapore. He's studying at the University of Adelaide.

Listen to what Leo says about the experience of moving to Adelaide.

Well, I would say I wasn't very prepared to start living in a different country, away from home, away from all the creature comforts, and I had quite a few rude shocks coming to Adelaide for the first time.

Leo says he wasn't prepared to start living in a different country, away from home.

Here, he is using the noun 'home' to talk about the place his family lives, where he used to live.

'Home' has a few different uses.

It can refer to a person's place of origin - the place where a person was born,

or to the place where a person belongs.

It can refer, more broadly, to the area or country a person is from.

The word 'home' is most often used to talk about the house or apartment someone lives in.

Leo says it was hard to be away from the creature comforts.

'Creature comforts' are the things that make life pleasant and easy. Creature comforts might be things like good food, a comfortable bed and your own private bathroom.

You often have creature comforts in your own home.

Now let's listen to Simon. He's a teacher of international students.

A lot of our students, or all of our students are basically home-stay students, rather than living in their own accommodation and so what they learn more, apart from the English, apart from the formal course work, is learning to interact with families who are not their own families. So, you know, for sixteen years they've known their own family members and there are so many assumptions that they make about how a family member speaks to them, and the host family themselves makes the same assumptions about their own children.

You put those two together and there's a lot of mismatched assumptions and the levels of patience and understanding and just strategies of how to deal with misunderstanding is probably the greatest benefit they ever achieve, because it is something that, being cross-cultural, they're going to be dealing with all their lives.

And I think it gives them a real edge in trying to work out what are the other possible implications of my statements that I just made then. So they really start to have a strong strategy about dealing with misunderstanding and that's fantastic.

I'm from an all girls school and these are little girls a long way from home and they are so brave, and it really is amazing to see them blossom into independent young women who can deal with things that, you know, at our own ages and our own domestic students would find huge hurdles, and the admiration I have for them is amazing because they just can do things that they can leap tall buildings really.

Simon teaches in an all-girls school, only girls can attend.

Listen to where most of his students live while they are in Australia.

A lot of our students, or all of our students are basically home-stay students, rather than living in their own accommodation and so what they learn more, apart from the English, apart from the formal course work, is learning to interact with families who are not their own families.

Their students are home-stay.

A 'home-stay' is when students stay in someone else's home. They don't stay at the school, or at a hotel. They stay with a family.

You could say it's like having a 'home away from a home', that's a place that has all the comforts of your own home.

There are lots of other 'home' phrases like this.

You might hear someone say they're 'home and hosed'. That means they have finished something successfully.

Or you might say that something is 'nothing to write home about'. That means it's not very interesting or remarkable. It's pretty ordinary.

To be 'at home' means to feel comfortable and relaxed in a place

But to 'hit home' means to make you realise how bad or serious something is.

When you visit someone, they might tell you to 'make yourself at home'. That means you should relax and make yourself feel as comfortable as you would in your own home.

OK, now let's go back to Simon.

I'm from an all girls school and these are little girls a long way from home and they are so brave, and it really is amazing to see them blossom into independent young women who can deal with things that, you know, at our own ages and our own domestic students would find huge hurdles, and the admiration I have for them is amazing because they just can do things that.. they can leap tall buildings really.

He talks about 'domestic students'.

'Domestic' usually means relating to the home, or life at home.

'Domestic jobs' are jobs that need to be done around the house - housework.

But here, Simon uses it in a different sense.

'Domestic students' are students that come from the country. They are the opposite of international students, who come from overseas.

He says that international students can manage more 'hurdles', or difficulties than domestic students.

He says they can 'leap tall buildings'. That's an unusual expression that mean they can do extraordinary things. Just like superman can leap tall buildings with a single bound.

And that's all for EB today. Don't forget that you'll find Leo, Simon and all the rest of this week's stories on our website.



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English Bites - Friday review
story notes

 double degree
 
Double means twice the normal size or amount. If someone is doing a double degree, they’re doing twice the normal amount. Leo is doing two degrees at once - economics and finance.

 graciously
 
Graciously means kindly and politely.

 international students
 
Students who come from overseas to study are called international students.

 graduating
 
To graduate means to complete school or university successfully.
 
The noun is also graduate, but it's pronounced differently. Follow the link below to our language library and listen to the differernce.
 
more information: graduate

 farewell
 
goodbye

 prepared
 
Prepared means ready to deal with a situation.

 home
 
Here, he is using the word hometo talk about the place where his family lives.

 creature comforts
 
Creature comforts are the things that make life easier and more comfortable - like having a comfortable place to live, or expensive food or a nice car.

 rude shocks
 
A rude shock is a sudden unpleasant surprise.
 
spotlight

Learn some 'home' expressions.

view the spotlight >
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