A Load of Tosh
Every Saturday, the Jakarta Post has an article or two on the editorial page about education and the issues of better teaching or the use of various tools such as the Internet which have both their good and bad points, depending on your point of view or that of other educators which supposedly include the regular contributor. Given that the message in these articles can usually be conveyed in just a paragraph or so and possibly less, I generally assume that the JP pays by the word and/or column inch or centimetre. Fortunately or not, depending on your point of view or stance concerning issues related to education, these articles are not generally posted to the online edition
so if you do not live in Indonesia you are denied the pearls which we swi...
Whoops. Got to watch my words in this Islamic country.
I usually can't be arsed to take issue with the tedious and trite crap espoused because, like my fellow educators, I rarely bother to read the whole article. However, there is another contributor today who has pissed me off. Writing from Australia, she suggests that native speaker English teachers shouldn't use their dialects as sometimes we "do not provide the best examples for pronunciation purposes."
She has discovered that "a dialect from London ... is difficult for people to understand, if not unintelligible."
Gor blimey, guv. Me an' me mates fink you carnt'uv crashed in, er, Earls Court.
She also has a go at accents which "can prove challenging."
In other words, native speakers "should conform to a standard and intelligible model of the language."
Like Ozspeak, Sheila?
Listening is a core skill, but no-one needs to hear every word. What learners need is the skill to tune into the central messages. Key words and phrases within a context are sufficient for most communication. Add in facial expressions and gestures and the ability to ask for clarification and Bob's yer uncle. (But who's your aunt?) It's got bugger all to do with accents and dialects.
I wonder if Sheila has spent much time in Indonesia and whether she is able to understand Bahasa Indonesia. If so, does she have problems with, say, Bataks and Javanese who have very different speech patterns.
Maybe both Sheila and I have got it wrong anyway. The Man Who Fell Asleep on the London Underground
is an eavesdropper. There are some wonderful quotes here, including, "They are learning English; they are learning about American values."
And if you're not sure what these are, check out
how writer Elena Lappin was welcomed to America.
Rules is rules, Sheila?