BREAKING LANGUAGE BARRIERS; HOSTING FOREIGN STUDENTS PREPARES BERLITZ DIRECTOR FOR POSITION.
Byline: Victoria Giraud Daily News Staff Writer
Kay KAY Kick Ass Year
KAY Kansas Association of Youth Bryant turned her experiences hosting foreign students in her Oak Park home into a job as the director of the Berlitz Language Center in Woodland Hills.
She's still a bit amazed a·maze
v. a·mazed, a·maz·ing, a·maz·es
1. To affect with great wonder; astonish. See Synonyms at surprise.
2. Obsolete To bewilder; perplex.
v.intr. that she was hired about 18 months ago. ``It's kind of a novelty Novelty is the quality of being new. Although it may be said to have an objective dimension (e.g. a new style of art coming into being, such as abstract art or impressionism) it essentially exists in the subjective perceptions of individuals. . Most of the directors are younger and bilingual bi·lin·gual
a. Using or able to use two languages, especially with equal or nearly equal fluency.
b. ,'' she said.
But Kay is modest. She studied French for years, both in high school and college, and even knows a little of what she calls ``social Japanese'' from being a host family for visiting foreign students when her two children were growing up.
Her first experience as a host was an enlightening en·light·en
tr.v. en·light·ened, en·light·en·ing, en·light·ens
1. To give spiritual or intellectual insight to: one that she considers one of the best things she did for her son and daughter, then 7 and 4. A 15 year-old French boy lived with the Bryants for several months, enjoying the feeling of home it gave him as he watched the Bryant youngsters argue. His fondest wish was to camp at Yosemite, a desire that was fulfilled ful·fill also ful·fil
tr.v. ful·filled, ful·fill·ing, ful·fills also ful·fils
1. To bring into actuality; effect: fulfilled their promises.
2. with borrowed camp equipment.
The Bryants were surprised how easily the boy fit into their family, especially when they discovered that he had come from a wealthy Parisian family.
Kay liked the student exchange organization - EF, a Swedish company whose initials translate most simply into ``educational foundation'' - so much that she volunteered what she called some ``strong, constructive criticism on the program'' after the first experience.
Her comments landed her a longtime long·time
Having existed or persisted for a long time: a longtime friend; a longtime resident of Detroit.
Adjective job with EF, working with groups of students and eventually coordinating all the Japanese students' participation in the area.
Working with Japanese students inspired Kay to make five trips to Japan.
``I had seven different students stay at our home. You become attached, even in a short time,'' she said.
In the late 1980s, when Kay's daughter Kayla was 11, the two went to Japan for the wedding of one of their former visitors.
``We were treated like relatives,'' Kay said. ``Their hospitality was indescribable. We saw a side tourists don't see.''
Kay says that Berlitz is the perfect employer for her.
``I like everything about the job,'' she said. ``I like the variety the best. I don't want to know what's going to happen every minute of the day.''
She enjoys meeting large numbers of students and others.
Berlitz is celebrating 120 years in the business of teaching languages all over the world - now at about 335 language centers in 35 countries - through its conversation method: listen, repeat and speak.
Kay is even polishing her French. She has completed one four-month course and plans to take another.
The highest demand at Kay's Woodland Hills office is for help learning Spanish Spanish, river, c.150 mi (240 km) long, issuing from Spanish Lake, S Ont., Canada, NW of Sudbury, and flowing generally S through Biskotasi and Agnew lakes to Lake Huron opposite Manitoulin island. There are several hydroelectric stations on the river. and English, but this past year there also have been lessons in languages as varied as Hindi, Hungarian, Russian Russian
associated in some way with Russia.
a breed of cats with short, dense, silver-tipped blue-colored coat and vivid green eyes. , Farsi and Armenian, as well as French, Italian and German.
Learning the cultural setting is part of learning a foreign language, especially for those who will be relocated re·lo·cate
v. re·lo·cat·ed, re·lo·cat·ing, re·lo·cates
To move to or establish in a new place: relocated the business.
v.intr. to work abroad. To that end Berlitz offers cross-cultural seminars where traditions, history and behavior in the foreign country are discussed.
Failed relocations cost companies thousands of dollars, Kay pointed out, so companies spend the money to prepare personnel for work abroad. Whole families are taught details about schooling, housing, washing facilities and other considerations.
``The highest percentage of relocation RELOCATION, Scotch law, contracts. To let again to renew a lease, is called a relocation.
2. When a tenant holds over after the expiration of his lease, with the consent of his landlord, this will amount to a relocation. failures are in England,'' Kay said. ``People assume a lot because English is spoken. But the cultural differences are wide and some companies forget.''
Bryant, a Kansas native, and her husband have lived in the Oak Park area of Agoura for the past 26 years. After working at home for the EF for 12 years, Kay decided she needed to get out of the house and see more people, and she applied for the Berlitz position.
She measures her new job tenure with a Berlitz student who, because he was relocating to Mexico, started his lessons in Spanish at the same time she started as director.
``Here's a man that's totally fluent fluent /flu·ent/ (floo´int) flowing effortlessly; said of speech. ,'' Bryant said with amazement, ``A year ago he couldn't even say hello in Spanish.''
PHOTO Kay Bryant of Agoura, director of the Berlitz Language Center in Woodland Hills, previously worked with foreign exchange students.
Terri Thuente/Daily News