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Language Learning:
Challenges and Misperceptions

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Hi, I'm Randall. As I work with international students, I often find that they have misperceptions of what language and culture are all about. In other words, sometimes students feel that just by being in the native land [or] the native culture that they're actually going to learn the language, and too often I find students that have been here for a short period of time or for a long period of time, and they haven't made progress because, in part, they spend so much of their time interacting with people from their own culture.

The other thing is is that just by living in a dormitory, at a university in the United States does not necessarily mean you'll make friends because many of these students already have their own friendships, and uh, nothing against you or anyone, but it just happens that students already have things established . . . they already have their own lives.

And, uh, one other thing . . . uh, many students don't realize that by just being in the country it doesn't guarantee that they'll learn a lot about the culture. Uh, many people might ask me, for example, uh, about, uh, the United States, and even though I've lived here for many, many years, there are a lot of things I don't know because language learning and [learning] culture take a long time to do [to master and learn].

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