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Hoe to convince the English their language is NOT better!?

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  • Hoe to convince the English their language is NOT better!?

    Hello all,

    As I was saying on one of the other message boards, one of oor teachers (who is English) is slagging aff oor guid Weeggie and Galloway Irish accents (apparently she cannae tell the difference). Bawbag! She is consistently forcing RP (received pronunciation) on us, and we thought we would be doing a public service bypointing out "information" about Scots language (such as: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4180373.stm)

    Any suggestions for “information” to be send?!?

    Mags

  • #2
    Why is it your post concerns one person - a teacher - and yet you've decided to make a generalised assumption (in your thread title) that 'the English' are at fault?

    If I was robbed by a black man would all blacks therefore be criminals?

    Of course not. So don't do it here.

    Comment


    • #3
      RP or Scots?

      Fair point. So I did not formulate my topic very carfully, I do appologise. We are talking about one person in this case, so I'll rephrase: How to convince my teacher RP is not better than Scots.

      Mags

      Comment


      • #4
        "Metropolitan" or large cultures often have certain ingrained issues when it comes to minority cultures and languages.

        Hence it seems you're more likely to find a Norwegian who speaks English and German, than a native English speaker who knows Norwegian or German. Likewise the French seem worse at foreign languages than the Dutch, and the Russians worse than the Icelanders.


        (Two can play at George Orwell quotes)
        "In this country I don’t think it is enough realized—I myself had no idea of it until a few years ago—that Scotland has a case against England."

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Scottish_Republican
          "Metropolitan" or large cultures often have certain ingrained issues when it comes to minority cultures and languages.

          Hence it seems you're more likely to find a Norwegian who speaks English and German, than a native English speaker who knows Norwegian or German. Likewise the French seem worse at foreign languages than the Dutch, and the Russians worse than the Icelanders.
          I agree with you to an extent. If a language enjoys widespread use then it's native speakers are going to be less inclined to learn other, less widely used languages.

          Comment


          • #6
            I can see how that works, you can get by using English in most places. But that leads me to the question if all learners of English as a second language should be taught in standard English (RP)? Should teachers of English always speak standard English in the classroom, even if they have another authentic accent themselves?

            Mags

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Lowland_Mags
              I can see how that works, you can get by using English in most places. But that leads me to the question if all learners of English as a second language should be taught in standard English (RP)? Should teachers of English always speak standard English in the classroom, even if they have another authentic accent themselves?

              Mags
              Actually yes, I think they should. If you're learning English in order to communicate with other people (whether they be speakers of English as a first language or not) then it makes sense if everyone learns the same, standardised form of English. It'd be a shame to learn a whole new language if you then couldn't use it with someone who'd learnt a different form of it!

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              • #8
                Me teacher speaks Orkaynian(spelling???) and me best friends speaks Hiberno-English, Kenyan English, etc. If it is so that everyone should larn RP, we wouldn't be able to speak to native English speakers, because, let me tell you this, not many people do speak RP
                Anam Ceilteach

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Eiric
                  Me teacher speaks Orkaynian(spelling???) and me best friends speaks Hiberno-English, Kenyan English, etc. If it is so that everyone should larn RP, we wouldn't be able to speak to native English speakers, because, let me tell you this, not many people do speak RP
                  You can't deny there is a certain logic in what I'm saying - if non English speakers all learnt the same form of English (whether that be RP, American, Glaswegian or whatever) then there's going to be much more mutual understanding.

                  Yes, I have the obligatory anecdotal evidence to illustrate this point too!

                  At school there was a lad from Moldova who had been taught English by Americans, giving him quite a peculiar accent. We (and by that I mean by English speakers and non-English speakers) found him quite hard to understand. In another situation, a friend of mine was learning Spanish from a teacher who was from South America, and found her accent very hard to understand.

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                  • #10
                    At the present time, all examination papers for subjects other than so-called Foreign Languages (eg French, German, Spanish etc) are set in standard English. If the lessons are taught in anything other than standard English, this might be thought to disadvantage the student?

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                    • #11
                      accent variation and English as an additional language

                      As you might have guessed from me bringing up this subject, I have a personal interest. I am on a teacher training course for teaching English as an additional or second language, and am very interested in what you think of accent variation in the classroom. I am a non-native speaker of English myself, and have a Glaswegian accent.

                      Obviously the English taught to non-native speakers should be standard English in grammatical sense, but should they all be taught in a standardised accent also. By saying that everybody should learn RP, you are implying that other accents are of lesser value (whether it is a native or non-native accent). Should I tell my students that their Dutch accent in English makes them less communicatively competent, even though they are perfectly understandable to any speaker of English?
                      If you are talking about a standardised accent for improved understanding on an international level, I would say RP should not be the accent of choice. It would make more sense to teach in an American accent, if such a thing exists, this being a much more likely candidate for a global English standard. Besides, if accent is such an important factor in understanding, how can the Scots understand the English, the American, the Irish, the Australian etc, and visa versa?

                      I’m looking forward to reading your opinions on the subject!

                      Mags

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: accent variation and English as an additional language

                        Originally posted by Lowland_Mags
                        By saying that everybody should learn RP, you are implying that other accents are of lesser value (whether it is a native or non-native accent).
                        Not in the slightest. However, it is effectively English with no accent at all, and thus most suitable for teaching people English when clarity and mutual understanding is an issue.

                        Originally posted by Lowland_Mags
                        Should I tell my students that their Dutch accent in English makes them less communicatively competent, even though they are perfectly understandable to any speaker of English?
                        This is slightly different from the point I'm trying to make: I'm referring to, for example, a person from the Netherlands learning English with a heavy Aberdeenshire accent and someone from Guyana learning English with a Southern US accent - can you see that there might be some difficulty with mutual comprehension?

                        Originally posted by Lowland_Mags
                        If you are talking about a standardised accent for improved understanding on an international level, I would say RP should not be the accent of choice. It would make more sense to teach in an American accent, if such a thing exists, this being a much more likely candidate for a global English standard.
                        Quite possibly. But what sort of American accent? There's as much variation in spoken English in the US as there is over here. I believe that English with no accent, i.e. the sort spoken in news broadcasts, is most suitable simply because there would be no debate as to what sort of English this is, and would allow easier communication between learners with wildly different linguistic backgrounds.

                        Originally posted by Lowland_Mags
                        Besides, if accent is such an important factor in understanding, how can the Scots understand the English, the American, the Irish, the Australian etc, and visa versa?
                        This isn't really an issue between speakers of English as a first language as I've already said - although I still am amazed at the difficulty I've had speaking English with an English accent in the States!

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                        • #13
                          misconception of Dialect and Accent?

                          I have to disagree with Hirta, as I think she is a bit confused on the concepts of dialect and accent.

                          I am in one class with Scottish, English and Dutch people (as part of an International Degree in English and Education). They do not all speak the same as some use a bit of either Scottish or Midlands dialect at times. This might make it difficult to understand them when speaking fast or in noisy places.

                          If I would ask all my classmates to speak the same, we would still be able to tell where they come from. A word like "girl" or "three", could tell us if their (near) native speakers or not and if they are Scottish or English. A Scotsman would have a more pronounced R when speaking and some Dutch people would pronounce 3 as "tree".

                          And I must remind Hirta that the language used in news broadcasts is not RP. I have heard English news Broadcastings and those people speak with an accent native to their region. RP is an accent, in Holland sometimes refered to as "Queen's English", as just she, her family and a small group surrounding them speak that way.

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                          • #14
                            Re: misconception of Dialect and Accent?

                            Originally posted by Nicigreve
                            I have to disagree with Hirta, as I think she is a bit confused on the concepts of dialect and accent.
                            Actually, I think you may be the one who's confused - I'm quite definitely male!

                            The point I'm making is that teaching a standard form of English, whether it be dialect or accent, will aid mutual understanding between speakers whose first language is wildly different. It's interesting to note that in your anecdotal example you mention Scots, English and Dutch (presumably) learning from the same source - which is hardly the same as a Mandarin Chinese person learning English from a Glaswegian or a Tibetan learning English from someone from Mississippi.

                            Originally posted by Nicigreve
                            And I must remind Hirta that the language used in news broadcasts is not RP.
                            Yes, I'm quite aware of this - which is why I didn't claim it was.

                            Originally posted by Nicigreve
                            I have heard English news Broadcastings and those people speak with an accent native to their region.
                            Generally news broadcasts are with a standard English accent, hence the phrase "BBC English". Indeed, the lack of regional accents in news broadcasts has been one of the main gripes of nationalist groups in Scotland and Wales. You're right, there are exceptions - but as the point I was making was concerning the lack of an accent rather than accent variation this is rather irrelevant to my original post.

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                            • #15
                              Now I am confused...

                              every region has it's own accent and I think there is NOT such a thing as a standard. Who is setting the standard anyway?

                              Teachers speak whatever language they were born and bred into. No way they can force on you whatever they deem to be the standard.

                              It's out dated, a point of view where we had a class system and language and accent would indicate your monetary standard. Morevore it's pityful to demand a standard accent for everybody.

                              Of course there might be accents and dialects making life of a teacher difficult... but most times it's just the know-it-all and controlling attitude of some teachers.

                              My twopence.
                              'S toil leam Gàidhlig a bhruidhinn agus a leughadh agus sgrìobhadh oir 'se an cànan feumail agus àlainn a th' innte.

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