Yeah I know, the title is dumb, but the other day, I had a student come in for one of those obesity essays that Kim and Kit I think are assigning. We did a relatively routine session that looked at clarity and argument and such. However, since this student was Japanese, I was able to notice something on much more specific level than I think most other consultants would have been able to do. I know I have gone on about this before, but I thought this was really cool.
The student was trying to make a point about kids drinking "sweetened juices" being a factor in childhood obesity. The thing is, I had just learned in my Japanese class that sometimes when Japanese say "juice" in Japanese, they actually mean a whole gamut of flavored beverages from 100% juice, to Coca-cola. This is actually a big problem in the Japanese language in general concerning the entrance of foreign words and the differences in the Japanese meanings from those in their original language.
So, I questioned her as to whether she meant only sweetened juices such as Hi-C and Sunny Delight, or did she actually mean to include soda and other flavored beverages that are also sweetened heavily. She said yes, and explained the differences, as I perceived them, and recommended she use a term like "sweetened soft drinks" to better articulate herself. She was surprised to know this difference. Now whether that improved her paper or not, correcting a NNS student's incorrect use of a word I believe is important. To me, sweetened juices is like Hi-C and Sunny-D.
I think since we most of us have to study a foreign language in school, it is incumbent upon us to use every tool we have to help our student. But not I'm just rambling…Later