First Person is a series of video features published every Monday on the BBC News website which tell the stories of unique individuals from all walks of life in their own words.
In this episode First Person talks to Crystal L Bailey. The etiquette teacher runs classes for children in the US capital who need to know how to behave on social occasions.
Watch the video and answer the questions.
The activity is suitable for intermediate 2 students.
1 How old are the children admitted to Crystal's school?
2 Why is it important for children who live in Washington to know how to behave in public?
3 What does Crystal teach at the start of every lesson?
4 What sport did one of Crystal's students play with one of Obama's daughters?
5 What do American people associate tea with?
6 What quality does Crystal want her students to feel after each lesson?
You can check your answers by reading the transcript below.
I’m Crystal L Bailey, director of the Etiquette Institute of Washington, here in our nation’s capital. And I teach children etiquette from ages all the way from three and a half to eighteen. Well, the young people that I work with, they run the full gamut. But being in Washington DC, you never know if you’re being called to dinner to the White House with Sasha and Malia, so these young people have to be prepared, whether they’re eating one course or ten.
I start off every lesson we’re teaching how to make a great first impression. Eye contact and that firm handshake and a smile will get you farther than any type of education that you may have, and so being in Washington DC, and make sure that these young people are prepared, and that they don’t become nervous even if they are meeting a big way.
Now let me see how everyone use a napkin if they had to use a napkin.
One of my students told me that she was good friends with Sasha, President Obama’s daughter, and that they played soccer and she hoped the girl was not mad at her because she had kicked her with a ball. So, I just never know who my students are or what experiences they may have had.
I was able to come right here in Washington DC and get to talk to Senator Mark Warner about the importance of government for funding juvenile diabetes, and also last year I was able to get a personal tour of the Capitol building and the White House.
It’s just great for her to always have her manners on and to be able to hang herself with grace and poise when she is in front of someone, is able to speak to someone in such a capacity.
So let us move over to the tea table.
I think for Americans a lot of time we see tea is having something with the Queen, and so it’s really a unique and regal experience for young people. It transports them to a different place and really a different time.
Just check and make sure it’s not too hot on your lips.
As we talk about those things in what will it be like immersing yourself in a different culture or going to a different country.
And I just want to see how quiet you can be.
After a lesson I really want my young people too feel a sense a confidence that they can walk into any situation and really handle it with an A-plus personality. I know that as I work with these young people and they go on, they’ll be representing their parents well with their meeting partners at a law firm or meeting associates from on the Hill.