Our school is Korean, but there's open enrollment. There is a Japanese High School girl whose family is in Lipa for some reason, so she's joining us here at the English Institute for awhile. She might feel strange for a few reasons.
1. Here, the languages she will hear are English, Korean and some Tagalog.
2. She is much younger than anyone else here.
3. She is Japanese
About number three...
I don't expect a problem, but there's an akwardness. I've had Korean students with various mindsets. My first batch informed me, 'We have issues with the Japanese government, not the people.' My repsponse to this, facial expression and all was 'of course...well, naturally.' Their response to that was 'no, not of course...many Korean people hate Japanese people.'
Another batch of students rolled in. I heard, 'I hate Japan, Japanese people, culture, everything. I do not want to speak Japanese, I hate everything Japanese.'
STUDENT: "I hate Japanese."
STUDENT: "NO! I hate all of them!"
STUDENT:'Korean people very, very hate Japanese'
ME:, "No, 'really really'."
Then there's a lot of this too.
ME (to male students): Describe the ideal woman.
MEN: "Japanese school girl"
If there are women in the class, this likely leads to the guy getting punched or slapped in the arm.
WOMEN:"They love Japan girl because Japan girl not talking...quiet. Korean woman not quiet."
GUYS:"That's right, Korean woman not quiet."
MAN (to woman student):"I am afraid to you!"
ME: "I'm afraid OF you."
(Side note edited in after I posted this. Korean guys often say they like talkative women, but they also like submissive. Just in case you're keeping track, I have another post where the guys say they enjoy talkative women.)
I ask the class the question, when there is a disagreement between your parents, who usually wins? More than 2/3 of the students:"My mother."
So there's a glimpse in to that.
Currently we have a student, Peter who speaks some Japanese. He spent a year studying law in Japan. His major is law, he hates it. Anyway, he's able to speak to her and make her feel comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time. Why? Because he's a much older Korean male, it's a bit akward. It would be even more so if she knew that he used to go to Korean chat rooms pretending to be Japanese and starting fights with the Koreans. 'We should attack Korea and kill all Koreans.', stuff like that. He was also telling me that he can read Japanese so he reads some of their blogs and they are hateful to Koreans as well. He said that he saw a blog about Cho Seung Hui and it said that it's just in the Korean nature to do something like that. (Yeah, sure.That makes no sense.)
So this guy talks to her once in awhile.
We have another student here whose major was Japanese. He tried to hold a conversation with her unsuccessfully. I've met a few students that have a degree in a language that they can't functionally speak. From time to time we have English majors that enroll here and refuse to take my class or speak to me. Hilarious.
I spoke with the girl a bit and did my best to make her feel comfortable. I hope she loves it here.