As people were eating breakfast, we started transitioning into introductions. Tian had compiled a list of all of our guests’ names in English and then provided a list of similarly sounding Chinese names, from which they could choose one. The options were all quite humorous: “Sue” could mean “Crispy” or “Vegetarian;” Joe could mean “Alcohol” or “Forever;” Dan was “Single” or “Egg,” and so on… As you can imagine there was a lot of laughter as everyone teased and joshed each other.
After breakfast, Tian got serious and brought out the white board for the lesson. She taught the group the four spoken tones and how to make introductions. Then people practiced with a partner and finally introduced themselves to the group. Tian’s parents enjoyed helping everyone out with pronunciation too. It was a lot of fun, and I was really proud of how everyone jumped into learning part of the language.