I am a host father to international students from Asia and have been doing this for about 7 - 8 years. over that time I have learnt a few things and decided to discuss these issues and ideas...
1. I have only had contact with Asian students through one school (the one I host for) however they seem to let students wallow in their mediocre language and struggle rather than do any decent BASIC development ESL as the students go along. is this the case elsewhere?
2. If students do not develop fluency in English, should they be "buddied" with a native speaking English person at school (secondary level) and 'made to chat' to build their skills?
3. We have always found it challenging to get the students to speak to us much at home, although we all sit down to meals and have time to chat, only a few of them have extended themselves to want to learn more English (funnily it was only because we had an English speaking teenager in the house with us at the time, and she pushed them to chat more.) Although we chat to the students and ask them questions they RARELY ask us anything unless they have to.
4. I feel the school should send these kids home (to the host family) with a list of questions to find out about the family tree, what the parents do, what the grandparents do and so on, the list could be HUGE! do others agree this could be useful?
Hello..... well... I think the problem is that they are asians....! Asians are very private people, and polite, thus they don't feel ok asking people questions if it's not anything to do with what they need....
I agree that the school should set them some tasks, as you said, finding out about the host family, or writing an essay on the family and the family habits or maybe some more personal things about the family so they will actually need to communicate....
Students struggling to communicate puts them in a real situation to use the language, but it's all up to them.... they have to feel the need to communicate, and it all depends on tasks the eschool should set..
Well.... That's all folks...!