Guests learning English - is there a natural reluctance?

Started by grahame, Apr 27, 2022, 07:20 AM

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I've heard it said "if you go and live in a country, the least you can do is to make an effort to learn a little of the language".  And at the same time, I am noting reports of guests from Ukraine who have arrived and are making no effort, and of potential guests we are corresponding with resolutely using only Ukrainian in their emails.  How do I square that circle?

1. Many of our potential guests, in their hearts, are coming to the UK for only a very short stay. They look forward to returning home very soon, motivated by a love of their country and a knowledge that they will have all the more rebuilding work to do there as the war has passed to and fro over their territory. So learning a different language, with a different character set, for a few weeks is not high up their motivation list.

2. In the normal course of events, the flows of people between countries is of the more outgoing, motivated characters. This is not the normal course of events, though, and people are flowing through necessity rather than desire. People of fewer words, in any language, than perhaps our UK / online members are use to.

Some further thoughts

1. I'm not personally optimistic that our guests will only be with us for a few weeks; undoubtedly, there will be some who return even in spite of risks or to safe(r) places, but I'm sure there are others for whom weeks anticipated may turn into months, years, or even a lifetime.  It is simply too early for most guests to know this - the short term fleeing as refugees is traumatic, and when settled, seeing the world from here, and seeing how things change they have time to decide.

2. I read some heart-string-pulling requests for sponsorship. And these are all toe more remarkable because they come from people who are normally very private - if you are a British reader of this, put yourself in their shoes - how would YOU feel about broadcasting your situation to the world, describing your family, personal habits, and perhaps adding pictures to make your request stand out from the crowd?
Melksham Town Councillor (South Ward) - special interests including travel and transportation, economy and climate. Retired IT trainer, helping with the Ukraine UK forum