Friday 4th September
Today, Terence from France joined me for Coffee and Conversation. This is a free activity at EC London where students can practice their English with a teacher in a natural way. We had a very lively discussion ranging from his reasons for coming to London to computer science. We began by speaking about cultural differences and how things perceived to be rude in one country can be entirely normal in another, such as pushing people into a tube carriage to make more room (apparently this is normal practice in Japan)! We also discussed whether striking in France was still effective after it being used as a strategy for change for such a long time. The conclusion was that if a strike was organised in the right way, it could definitely help to change the status quo.
Terence’s interest in information technology led us to talk about people’s preference for downloading music for free rather than buying it, and companies that provide free access to music, such as Spotify. We discussed the media, and advertising in particular, which we agreed is excessive in both of our countries, especially on the television.
Terence spoke very fluently and had an excellent level of English, so any corrections I made were for minor errors. We clarified the differences between work experience and internship and Terence learnt the phrase ‘to strike for the sake of striking’. We also looked at the uses of which, that and who. Finally, we cleared up small prepositional mistakes in phrases including listen to the radio and most people.
Overall, I very much enjoyed our conversation and learnt quite a lot myself!