We went to visit the Queens park Farmers’ Market on 11.11.18. It was the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice, recognising the end of the First World War, and the sacrifice made by many men and women during the war. A bell was rung at 11am and we all stood in silence for 2 minutes. It was amazing how the market became quiet, and you could only hear the birds singing and the traffic going by.
We used our treasure hunt list to find and ask for many different items on the market, it was a way to get to know the produce for sale on the market.
I found that for my students making small talk with the stall holders was a language challenge and that for the stall holders it was also difficult to engage in a conversation about their produce.
Language barriers are often not the only barrier when communicating in a foreign culture, sometimes body language and cultural habits are just so different that there is easily a misunderstanding.
I encouraged my students to use short phrases such as “I’m just looking” or adding compliments such as “It’s very interesting, I’m just having a look for now”. Using these phrases might help to bridge the communication gap when looking at what to buy, as some stall holders get upset when people stand and look for a long time and discuss the items, but then do not buy them.
Other good phrases:
What a stallholder says
“Can I help you?”
“Are you looking for anything in
“I’m just looking, thank you.”
“I’m just browsing, thank you.”