THE ELC NEWS
A Publication by and for Students of the English Language Center, Old Dominion University
December 2009—Fall 2
Why did youcome to the ELCand how longhave you beenhere?
There is mycousin here atODU. He recom-mended me to geta degree at ODU.I have been hereabout 10 months.
How’s your classat the ELC?What do youthink is the mostdifficult to learnin English?
Everything’s good.Learning Englishand making lots ofdifferent friends are always interesting things to me. Actually, ittook a longer time to get used to the American English accentthan I expected.
Who do you want to be and what do your parents expect fromyou?
I hold my father in high regard and want to be like him. He is work-ing at King Abdullah University, one of the most famous universi-ties in Saudi Arabia. He has so good personality and is held ingreat esteem by his colleagues. He is expecting me to be a pro-fessor at King Abdullah University and I also want to be a profes-sor someday.
If there is anything you hope the ELC could change or im-prove, what would it be?
Absolutely, the TOEFL!! The ELC should let us enter the regularuniversity courses without the TOEFL test. And, I think it would bebetter for ELC students that the ELC had a kind of quota system.Sometimes, there are too many students from one country in oneclass.
Do you have any event in your life that changed you?
There was a really terrible car accident 1 year ago. I drove mycar too fast. My friends and I got injured, one of my friends hadhis two legs broken and the other had surgery on his arms. Wealmost died. That accident changed my life in some parts, eventhough I don’t know why and how that accident affected me.After the accident, I became much more careful about myfriends.
Have you ever had cultural shock? If so, what do you thinkis the cultural difference between America and Saudi Ara-bia?
A lot. Ha ha, everything is different: food, gestures, communica-tion, fashion, etc. I think Americans are generally more individu-alistic than Saudi Arabians. Sometimes it makes me feel freeand comfortable, but in Arabic culture, family comes before any-thing else. We highlyvalue the family andcaring about each othermuch more.
To be specific, what’sthe difference in theeducational systembetween America andSaudi Arabia?
You know, the mostdifference is religion.Education is alsobased on strong Muslim ideas and beliefs.From middle school to high school, we have to wear schooluniforms and boys and girls are totally separated. To enter uni-versity, we take 4 exams, which are Arabic Literature, Math,Science, and English.
What do you think is good or bad in Saudi Arabian educa-tion?
Um, I think English is important. So, English education is moreneeded than now. The good thing is that you can invite yourteachers to your house and learn more if you want to.
What do you think is the best thing in America?
America is like a melting pot. You can meet many different peo-ple from many other countries. Meeting different people andtalking about many things are very interesting to me.
From left: Advanced II students Jimmy (China),Natallia (Belarus), Janice (South Korea), and Marat(Russia) pose with Mazin (UP, Saudi Arabia) forMazin’s interview.