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Learn English While Playing With Children: A Los Angeles Homestay


A Homestay With a lot of Children Actually Has a lot of Pros?!

Do you ever feel like even though you’ve done a homestay your English hasn’t improved that much? The truth is that unless you are using English everyday, it will not improve. Since Sam’s home has many children, doing a homestay there will actually give you many opportunities to improve your English.

In particular, Sam’s oldest daughter Esther loves to talk, and regardless of how shy you are she will always try to talk to you. If you don’t understand, she will even try to explain things to you as well.

When you speak with children, you learn real everyday English that you can’t find in textbooks. Children don’t use alot of difficult words, so this homestay is especially good for beginners.

Although it may come as a surprise, only about ten percent of homestays in Los Angeles have children. In most homestays, the children have already grown up and moved out. For families with children, they are usually too busy taking care of their children to even consider hosting students. So as you can see, a homestay like Sam’s with three children is particularly rare!

Homestay Info

Host Name: Samuel Park
Family Members: Host Father, One Son, Two Daughters
Occultation: Dad is a high school math teacher affiliated with the Navy. The children are elementary school students.
10LDK About the House: Normal House, with 10 rooms and a living room, dining room, and a kitchen
Location: Los Angeles, near Koreatown
Distance from School: Columbia West College (CWC): 25 minutes, LASC: 25
Recommended Because?: You can play with children!
Not Recommended For: People who don’t want to live with many other international students.

Giving Children a Chance to Experience Another Culture

Due to family arrangements, Sam is not with the children on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but he spends time with them every weekend. Esther, his oldest daughter, loves speaking with others and will teach you a lot of English. I even took a video of her teaching me and she was absolutely adorable.

Sam himself was born in Korea, and moved to Los Angeles at the age of 16 to help with his family’s business. Currently, he works as a math teacher at a high school in Santa Monica as well as working for the Navy.

The reason Sam started accepting international students into his home is that he wanted to give his children a chance to experience a different language and culture. And actually, the same is true of myself as well, as I often allow young Japanese students to stay in my house for the same reason as a volunteer.

His other children include Sam Jr. (who is eight years old and has the same name as his father), Esther (who is seven years old), and Royce (who is the youngest at six years old). Since he has children, dinner is eaten everyday at six. As long as you come back by then, you will have many chances to speak with the children.

Since it has already been five years since Sam’s family began accepting international students for homestays, the children are already used to having guests around. If you have trouble communicating with Sam Jr., he will draw a picture for you on a piece of paper. He also enjoys reading books, and will often read together with the international students.

If you think Sam Jr. is just reading books for elementary school students, think again. At most language schools there are seven levels, and most Japanese international school students are at level 2 or 3 at first. Sam Jr. is reading books that would take students at that level a whole entire day to ready.

Furthermore, Sam Jr. is good at drawing pictures, and often will do so while asking “What is this in Japanese?” This becomes great practice for translating from English to Japanese.

The oldest daughter Esther is very talkative. Even if the students staying at her house are shy, she will try to talk to them. And as you can see from the video, she will teach you many things. Since she is always full of energy and wanting to talk, you will never get bored when you are with her! She also loves dancing and playing house, and sometimes she will even perform a dance show for you.

Esther is bound to be able to get along with anyone, even if they are the type to actively try and speak with other people. Everyone who has stayed at Sam’s house (even those with no English ability) have said they got along really well with Esther.

Royce (Sam’s second daughter) is the most shy of the three children. However, she is the most affectionate child who will stick to you once she gets close to you. She is a girl with a kind personality who loves to pick peaches and play in the garden.

On the weekends, Sam and his family often go out somewhere (except for the third Saturday of each month.) Last week, they went for a walk in the park with their current guest and then took them to a DIY class at Home Depot (a home center chain in the states.)

This family is completely fine spending time with their guests, and often takes them out on activities such as camping and going to the supermarket. And since on Saturday mornings the children are often playing in the living room, if you aim to wake up and go down to the living room yourself at that time you will have more chances to speak English.

An Intrduction of Sam’s House

Sam’s house is located near Koreatown, which has many houses around it which are full of history and over 100 years old.

This is an external view of the house. It’s quite big isn’t it?

This is one of the ten rooms in the house. Currently, five students from Korea and two students from Holland are doing long-term stays.

This is another guest room.

Here is the kitchen. Sam often cooks a lot of Korean food.

Here is one of the seven bathrooms.

For students who are too shy to reach out and speak to others, yet still want to improve their English (or just simply love children!)Sam's homestay is highly recommended.

A homestay where you can spend so much time with children on weekends is something you do not see often, and for that makes staying at Sam’s home a unique experience.


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