At Flint International Friends we host Conversational English Groups, for international students at a local coffee house. We focus a portion of each lesson on idioms … words that don’t mean what they say. For example, “She sounds like a broken record,” has nothing to do with an old-fashioned vinyl disc, that was used to play music, but instead it means she is repeating the same information over and over! How are international students able to distinguish when you are speaking with idioms or speaking the facts?
Idioms are one of the language barriers international students face—so we include several examples in each lesson plan. Our last lesson was called, “Music, Music, Music,” and we taught idioms that relate to music, like “Fit as a fiddle,” “Toot your own horn” and “Marching to the beat of your own drum.”
We were privileged to have a live performance from a Russian violinist playing a musical medley called, “Colors of the World,” including Italian folk music and classics like Ava Maria. An American pianist played a variety of American music ranging from Southern Gospel to Honky-Tonk.
Students from the Ivory Coast, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Korea, Yemen, Iran and India were fascinated by the diverse sounds that can come from a single instrument. We ended the session with one of my favorite worship songs, “So will I,” which tells the reason why Flint International Friends exists. Imagine the wonders of creation while hearing these lyrics:
If the stars were made to worship so will I, If the mountains bow in reverence so will I
If the oceans roar Your greatness so will I, For if everything exists to lift You high so will I…
I can see Your heart Eight billion different ways, Every precious one, A child You died to save
If You gave Your life to love them so will I
(Songwriters: Joel Houston / Benjamin Hastings / Michael Fatkin)
When the lesson ended, a young woman new to our group, stopped to say goodbye. She mentioned this worship song was also her favorite! Immediately, we felt the presence of the faith we shared in our Creator! Her words were truly, “Music to my ears!”
A link to the youtube version of the song, “So Will I” :