Friday, April 13, 2012

I reckon, mind you!

Being a teacher of a language that is not "yours" is always challenging. 

For starters, there is the grammar that might be a helluva lot different, which means you have to do some  reviewing of rules and concepts.

But I think the tallest order is when you have to take on idiomatic expressions or set phrases that might not even make sense to yourself, let alone the students.

Do native speakers go Scot free on that? Not really, especially if you're a "native" from other countries that are not considered the standard, and having to learn expressions that you would normally not use in your every day speech and then teach them as if they were your own.

The funny thing about it all is when my students ask me: 
  • Is that typically British or American?
  • Is it very common to say that?
  • Does everybody talk like that?
This brings me to two expressions that have been the talk of the teacher room for the past weeks or so: "Mind you" and "I reckon".

The second doesn't seem to be all that difficult, since it sounds like "I think", "I guess", "I believe" and so on. 

The question is: has anyone actually heard speakers use it in real circumstances?  
     
If I asked your opinion on this blog post, would you say "I reckon it's ..."?


The first one is an even more precious gem. When and How would I use "mind you"?

What does it really mean? Here are two examples:

  1. Mind you, the other places were not using any twelve-step programs; however, this one is, and I like that.
  2. I don't see why you shouldn't go to the party now that you're single. Your ex might be there, mind you.
Are there any other expressions or discourse markers you could use to replace "mind you"? Do you know or have you heard anyone use it like that?  

What if you have never heard the expressions? Does that make them "less real" and make you "less comfortable" using them?