Who is the author?
What the story is about. You can usually name the subject in a word or two.
What the story means. An idea about life that the story's characters, actions and images bring home to you.
How do you summarize?
You tell about the story's main events in your own words.
What is the theme of this story?
Even if your family embarasses you, you can't leave- they are still family. OR
People really aren't that different.
Why did the family disgrace themselves the first time they were invited out to dinner in America?
They peeled the celery and brought chairs to the buffet table.
Who invited the family to dinner?
Mr. and Mrs. Gleason
Who was the only real friend the narrator ever had?
How did her brother learn to speak English?
from the boys he was hanging out with who were teaching him baseball
Why was father fascinated with the English language?
He was fascinated with the way English verbs had a tense. He made diagrams of verbs and their inflections.
How did mother approach English?
She made a list of polite phrases that would cover all possible social situations.
Why was the narrator concerned about her appearance?
All the other girls were wearing jeans and her mother bought her only skirts.
How did the narrator finally get some jeans?
She rode a boy's bike to the store for her mother while she was wearing a skirt. The mother was concerned because you could see up her skirt. Mother took her to the store to buy her a pair of jeans.
How did things improve for the rest of the family?
Brother made the basball team, father started taking driving lessons, and mother discovered rummage sales so they got all the furniture they needed.
Why did the family go to the fancy dinner at The Lakeview?
To celebrate father's promotion at the electronics company.
Why did they have trouble reading the menu?
it was mostly in French
Why did the family slurp their soup?
It arrived on a plate and they couldn't figure out how else to get it in their mouth.
Why do the Chinese slurp their soup?
1. It cools the liquid to prevent you from burning your lip.
2. It shows appreciation
Why did the narrator rush to the bathroom?
She was embarassed because everyone was looking at her family for slurping their soup.
What did the parents say when the teacher told them their daughter would make honor role?
Father said she was a very stupid girl and mother said the teacher was showing favoritism. It was Chinese etiquette.
Why was the narrator horrified when her family hosted a dinner party?
Because the guests piled their plates with food and mixed it all together.
What did the narrator realize when Meg was drinking her milkshake?
that all Americans slurp!
What American customs confuse the Lins when they eat at the Gleasons?
Eating raw vegetables, a buffet-style dinner
What mistakes do the Gleasons make when they eat at the Lins?
They can't figure out chopsticks, they pile all of their food on their plate
What are some of the things that the Lins do to fit in to American life?
Buy jeans, learn to drive, attended a PTA meeting, learned to speak English