Saturday, 5 March 2011

What's your English? Do you often have a chinwag about her ba-donka-donk?

Much has been said about the differences between American and British English, so much so that any EFL course, from Andorra to Auckland, will dedicate at least one lesson to this topic. One can be forgiven to think that these are the only two significant versions that exist. Of course, we know that this is not true, and besides, what is British English? Someone from Dorset doesn't quite speak like someone from Aberdeen, or Swansea, and I'm not just talking about accents.

All versions of English are valid, and the more variety that one is exposed to, the better it is. There is a trend in countries where English is not widely spoken to insist on "native" teachers for an EFL post, and this is rather unfair to the "non-native" teachers. As a lot of them will attest, "native" teachers aren't necessarily better than them.

MacMillan's 'What's your English?' campaign is, therefore, to be applauded. Do try to read some of their articles on other "Englishes": Macmillan's International English

They also recently teamed up with Professor Elemental to produce the hilarious Canadian vs British English rap battle. You can watch it below, and also download the script (you'll probably need it!) from here. If you haven't heard of the eccentric Professor Elemental (real name: Paul Alborough), check out his site:

You can also watch the US vs UK English challenge with Hugh Laurie and Ellen DeGeneres after Professor Elemental's. It's quite funny, too.

So, what's your English? Are you a "non-native" teacher teaching English in your own or a foreign country? Whether you are one or otherwise, I would love to hear your opinions. If you're a student, your opinions would be most treasured, too.

Divided by a Common Language: A Guide to British and American English Knickers in a Twist: A Dictionary of British Slang      American Slang Dictionary and Thesaurus (Dictionary & Thesaurus)

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