Skip to main content

Still British or Still American? Which English?

Just in!

In the past 5 to 10 years, language specialists have been talking about other Englishes:

Australian
New Zealander
Scottish
Irish
Canadian
Indian
Caribbean
South African
Chinglish
Spanglish
Singlish
Hinglish

And we can't forget the newest and possible the one to replace them all: GLOBAL ENGLISH

Yet, in the language classrooms in Brazil, most students still think of English in the two-way paradigm: British or American.

This video of Hugh Laurie on Ellen shows just that: most learners seem to go for one or the other.


For the subtitled version of the video in Portuguese click here.

Of course, when we have varieties of a language spoken in different countries or regions, the main differences show up in: pronunciation and vocabulary.

This most probably happens to Francophones, Hispanophones, and Lusophones coming from different countries or regions.

Which variety of English do you prefer - British or American?

Have you been exposed to other varieties of English? What was the experience like?

Can you give examples of different words to refer to the same thing in your own language that exist because of geographical differences?

Comments

PV said…
Personally, I usually prefer the British English over the American one. One of my earliest English teachers was a Caribbean foreigner who kept pointing out how the British English sounds better, because of it's speakers politeness and effort to be as clear as possible. I guess he convinced me!
I have had two opportunities to talk to natives from India. The first one was at work, during a business call, and the second was in a vacation trip to France. I must say both of them were memorable conversations, but not in a pleasant way. They speak too fast, and they don't mark the distinction between any two words in a sentence. It's awful.
I've also spoken English to French people, and it has always been pleasant conversations.

Popular posts from this blog

My takeaways from BrELT on the Road

Just in!





Coincidence or not, propositions and concepts echoed through the plenaries and concurrent sessions I attended (apologies in advance to those I could not even attend in spirit at the same time).
Jamie Keddie encouraged us to use video to let students create their own narratives and not to limit this resource to practicing target language. Thru video, students can see there are multiple perspectives that contribute to a story and we have individual interpretations of that story. In so doing, they understand there is no right or wrong - we construct meaning based on our pre-conceived notions of reality. This awareness pivotal to critical thinking. The beauty of it all is that we benefit just as much from this method as our students.
Prodding students to see differently or see the unobvious was at the heart of Claire Venables' session "Not a box". By asking students to find new uses and meanings for a box, we are giving young learners a chance to learn language that i…

Yes we can speak English

Guess I'm a sucker for projects and project-based learning. Although this latest endeavor might not be considered a project in itself.
A simple Google search on the use of Whatsapp or other instant communication tools for English-speaking skills development came up with an extensive list of results.
The idea of creating a group to practice speaking had a specific target group - English teachers who are taking an online postgraduate course on language teaching. Many of them miss the chance to brush up on their oral skills, for the simple reason that the classes are online and interaction with the professor and colleagues comes only through text. 
The initiative rekindled a professional goal I had set for myself when I created the blog Help a teacher with their English (it has been discontinued - all related posts will show up here in the future). Nothing like being able to follow through on an idea and see it materialize into something you had not even fathomed in the first place.
Wha…

Managing Project-based learning: a dual view

This post is the result of a promising collaboration between myself and +André Hedlund : the start of more to come. 
Coordinating PBL - Stephan's part 
Implementing project-based learning in a content-based syllabus has become the order du jour in educational contexts in general and in ELT in particular. Academic directors and coordinators face the responsibility of delivering meaningful, student-driven, student-generated learning opportunities, which, in turn will foster the much sought-after skills of communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. This post outlines my role as coordinator responsible for implementing projects in a language centre as a prelude to André Hedlund’s narrative of his experience with projects at CCBEU Goiânia.
Based on the core design elements of PBL, the text analyses, therefore, the implications in managing projects and ensuring minimal success. The first important point to consider in any project-based or program-oriented learning pro…