A friend on Facebook posted this picture, which then sparked a discussion about speaking English when it isn’t your native language.
So here’s the thing: It’s hard. What this illustration points out is incredibly true. When I moved to Lithuania, I had no idea how to speak the language. Eventually, a few years after I arrived, I had the opportunity to take a basic, entry-level class.
It was hell.
Being a teacher myself, I would talk with my teacher who told me, after that fact, that when she saw she had an American coming in to her class, she was a little nervous. “I hate teaching Americans – any native English speakers, really.”
Now, mind you, the class itself was taught in English as that was the common lingua franca amongst the students, so the idea of speaking English wasn’t the problem. Continue reading “On Speaking English as a Second Language”
Several years ago, back when I was regularly attending pub quiz, I met a woman who was the head of a primary school. Being a native English speaker, she had asked me if I could possibly come and be part of a jury for an annual English/speech competition the school hosted. Naturally, I said yes and have been doing it now for several years. In addition, I’ve also done some recording for her as the voice on the audio portions for grammar school English books (and, I was just informed, the English teacher in the books was named for me!) Continue reading “On Judging English Competitions”
You know, Shakespeare didn’t always sound like Shakespeare. Sometimes he sounded like a pirate. And in fact, just for good measure, English didn’t always sound like English.
Anyway, here’s a couple of videos to get your brain working. Continue reading “Thinking in and about English on a Sunday Morning”
I love this stuff!
25 Words That Are Their Own Opposites | Mental Floss.
These are the kinds of words which make English such a fun language to play with. Interpretation is everything. This is also what makes communication difficult sometimes. I always tell my students that as long as I can understand what they are trying to say, then it doesn’t matter so much about the grammar and spelling… but then if they’re using words like these, I may have no idea what it is they’re trying to say. Continue reading “25 Words That Are Their Own Opposites | Mental Floss”