2 1. What is a conclusion?A decision or an opinion you reach by drawing together details in a text.
3 2. What is a theme?An important idea or message that the author wants to convey.
4 3. Describe the way in which each Lin family member learns English. The narrator worries a lot and takes care to speak correctly. Her brother learns English from his friends and speaks quickly, although not expertly. The father is scientific about learning English and is proud of his mastery of verb forms. The mother memorizes lists of polite phrases.
5 4. What does each person’s way of learning English show about his or her personality? The narrator is concerned about what people will think about her. The brother is more concerned about communicating with friends than with speaking perfect English. The father is proud of his English. The mother is not as confident as the father but tries to be polite.
6 5. How do the Lins embarrass themselves at the restaurant? They slurp their soup.
7 6. Compare: In what ways are the Gleasons’ actions at the Lins’ house similar to those of the Lins at the Gleasons’ house?Both families struggle to adapt to the others’ way of eating; both are coping as well as possible under the circumstances.
8 7. What theme about cultural differences does the story illustrate? People from different cultures may have different customs, but they may also have many things in common.
9 8. What details or events support the theme? Chinese people slurp soup, Americans slurp milkshakes; both families learned about different customs when they visited each other’s homes.
10 9. How does the narrator feel the first time her family eats raw celery? The narrator is embarrassed.
11 10. What happens when the Lins eat celery? Everyone stares as the Lins eat celery.
12 11. How does Meg make the narrator feel better after the dinner party at the Gleasons’ house? Meg mentions that her mother doesn’t plan for parties and just hopes for the best.
13 12. Why does the narrator think her brother is adjusting better to American life than she is? He is making friends easily.
14 13. Which of the Lins fits in first with American culture? The narrator’s brother fits in first.
15 14. What problem do the Lins try to overcome in the story? The Lins family tries to fit in by adjusting to American customs.
16 15. What does the narrator discover when she drinks a milkshake with Meg? The narrator discovers that Americans slurp when drinking milkshakes.
17 16. What does the narrator learn about slurping? The narrator learns that Americans and Chinese both slurp in some situations.
18 17. Contrast: What is the difference between the way that the Gleasons eat and the way that the Lins eat?The Gleasons pile food on their plates and mix the foods. The Lins eat one type of food at a time.
19 18. What lesson about life does the narrator learn? The narrator learns how to fit in to new surroundings and that Americans and Chinese are not as different as she first thought. First, she learns that Americans eat raw celery and that slurping soup is considered bad manners in the United States. Although Chinese people slurp soup, Americans slurp milkshakes. Second, the narrator wants to wear jeans as the other girls do. She wants to understand American ways and fit in. Finally, she understands that the Gleasons are unfamiliar with Chinese eating customs and realizes that everyone has new experiences that can be embarrassing and that everyone has feelings. She is learning to be more accepting of others and of herself.
20 19. EmigratedLeft one country to settle in another
21 20. SmuglyIn a way that shows satisfaction to oneself