November 28th, 2012
Ok, so most people didn’t like the last video in my last blog. Fair enough.
I appreciate your honesty and I’ll be careful when recommending that kind of thing in the future. Sometimes learning what you guys don’t like is as important as learning what you do like. For us to do the best job in the world of teaching you guys, we need to understand you at a deeper level. I think this blog, and your comments, is helping this process a lot.
As you guys know, Add and I are Canadians living in Shanghai.
Shanghai is a pretty international city and we see interesting stuff here all the time. There are tons of white people in the city. When we see other Canadians or Americans and speak with them for just a few minutes, we know almost exactly what kind of people they are. They know the same about us too. It’s easy to “size up” or develop a pretty accurate idea about someone who comes from your own culture.
I can tell if they went to university or not, I can tell if they had a lot of friends in high school, I can even guess how they behave in a club. Of course I won’t be right all the time, but I’ll have a pretty good idea if these are people from my culture.
I assume you feel the same way when you meet someone from your own culture in a new place. If you were travelling in New York City, for example, and met a person from your own country, I guess you could quickly make some very good guesses about this person after only a few minutes of talking. You will know if they are funny, shy, confident, arrogant, etc. You’ll probably be able to guess if they grew up in a big city or a small town in the countryside. This is because everyone has a deep understanding of their own culture and how people from their cultures should behave, and usually do behave in most situations.
It gets interesting when people from 2 totally different cultures meet for the first time. It takes A LOT longer for each person to fully understand what kind of person are they meeting when they are from “different worlds”. In our minds we may have questions like, “Do all Canadians act this way, or is this person just weird?” The same could be said for people from any culture. You get the idea.
This reality can be difficult and frustrating for Add and I with this website. We want you guys to really know us and who we are as people, but it’s hard because we’re all from different places. We totally understand this too. We believe you should be skeptical when you see people you don’t really know trying to sell you stuff.
When we say that we have the best VIP program, or are teaching the most commonly used native slang on the internet, or we say we’ll make your English WAY better than it would be using any other method, how would you really know 100% for sure if we are telling the truth? It’s easy for us to praise our own website because it’s our website, but is what we’re saying really true? How would you know?
The only way I can think of that would help you, is for you to ask other native speakers what they HONESTLY think. They will know immediately. It makes me sick to see so many English teaching websites on the internet that totally suck. They sound like they would teach useful stuff, but they really don’t. How do I know this? Because I’m a native speaker and I can see what they are teaching. It drives me crazy!
I’m sure you’ve had many similar experiences. Many Asian girls often see western guys choosing ugly Asian girlfriends and walking hand in hand all over the city. They always ask me why this happens. Do the western people have bad taste? Do they have different taste? What is going on? There are millions of examples of people making weird choices when they are “outside” of their own culture. It’s hard for each of us to really know the truth about who is who and what is what. So if you have any doubts about anything in terms of learning English or how western culture really is, ask a real westerner you know in your own life and trust. If you don’t know any, I guess you’ll just have to take your best guess and do whatever feels right.
I’m not suggesting that you just believe everything I say just because I said it. I would hate that. I just hope you think about it for yourself. I totally believe that you should try out every English learning method or website that seems good to you. You should use what YOU like and what works for YOU. Use whatever gets you the best results. Just please be careful when choosing. Most language schools and websites teach the stuff THEY THINK you want to learn. They really don’t care about making your English level better. They just want you to use their program. You should judge us and our website in the same way. Choose what’s best for you. Just be careful. This is important for YOU.
I’d love to hear your thoughts as always. Your comments are fantastic! Keep writing guys. Keep letting us know what you think and what kinds of stuff you want to learn.
I’d also like to know what you think about this idea of people from different cultures having a very hard time really trusting and understanding each other. Do you have this experience?
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