This evening, assuming he calls again to get address and directions, Glendra (and oh yes, I’m pretty comfortable in saying that I’m butchering both the spelling and pronounciation of his name) will be coming over for English lessons.
And I was right, I did butcher his name. He spells it Kulenthra, and he did call, and he did come over for help with English.
Kulenthra is a fax machine repair person, first language Tamil, originally Buddhist, but converted to the LDS religion a year ago. He says he’d like to serve a mission for the LDS church next year, and he’d like to improve his English for that, but he’d also like to study law in England where he has relatives, and he definitely needs to improve his English for that.
Luckily, Fahim speaks Tamil as well, so when Kulenthra had a hard time getting a point accross to me, in steps Fahim, they converse for a few minutes in Tamil, and all is understood.
Kulenthra was here for an hour and a half, and once I get used to his accent, he speaks English much more fluently than I originally suspected. Yes, he needs to improve his vocabulary and pronounciation, but really, he does speak it well enough to get his point across most of the time – if he slows down and doesn’t speak quite so fast. That’s something I’ve noticed a lot of Sri Lankans do – speak English very quickly with their heavy accents, and that’s where I have most problems understanding, I think. Kulenthra is getting English help from a few different people, which I think is an excellent idea – if he can communicate equally well with several native English speaking people, he’ll be much better off. He’s coming back next Wednesday for more.