Endang Palupi is an amazing Indonesian educator in Western Java and despite poor infrastructure and working in a developing country. As Endang is well connected, she then connects students she works with to classes and educators across the world. She is studying for a doctorate and her thesis is based Talking with a Native Speaker. Using skype and facebook groups, Endang looks for people who may be available to work with Indonesian students who are learning English and speak it as their second or third language.
One question they consistently ask is “what is your age?”. I respond truthfully and can see that they understand that as there is some element of surprise, as I could be their grandmother!!! “What is your hobby?” is the second most common question. My response is gardening and arranging flowers but I am never sure whether they fully understand that response. Usually I key that response into the txt chat area to help understanding. On the weekend, I took a photograph of some of my flower arrangements so that I can quickly share my screen in skype or ghangouts and show them my hobby as well as tell them.
Images will become increasingly important as we become more globally connected. How do you ensure understanding when working with people from other countries? What tips would you give?